Andrew Rasiej is the Founder of Personal Democracy Media, which produces Personal Democracy Forum and other events about how the intersection of technology, politics, and civil society is empowering new levels of citizen engagement. He is also the Founder of MOUSE.org, focused on 21st century public education; Co-Founder of Mideastwire.com, which translates Arabic and Farsi news into English; and serves as Senior Technology Advisor to the Sunlight Foundation, an organization focused on using technology to help make government more transparent. He is a graduate of Cooper Union and a member of the Board of Directors of PopTech. In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)
Mayor Michael Bloomberg addressing the New York Tech Meetup in 2011. The upcoming mayoral election will see the city's growing technology sector play a bigger role in politics.
New York's burgeoning technology sector wants to flex its newfound political muscle in this year's mayoral race, the first since digital companies coalesced in the city.
Leaders of the New York Tech Meetup, a 30,000-member group that draws professionals from start-ups and established tech companies in the city, are expected to approve a slate of policy proposals on Tuesday that will be reviewed by its rank-and-file before being presented to candidates running for citywide office, including those looking to succeed tech-friendly Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Among the potential policies: expanding low-cost broadband access, adding math and science classes in public schools and making government data more accessible.
"To make a difference in this and any other campaign, tech needs its Grover Norquist pledge," said Anil Dash, a New York Tech Meetup board member and entrepreneur, referring to the Club for Growth chief's no tax-increase promise. "It needs its list of demands."
The effort to inject a technology agenda into mayoral politics comes at a time when the industry is expanding in the city. The number of start-ups is growing, and larger publicly traded companies like Google Inc. and Facebook Inc. are increasing their footprints in Manhattan.
The meetup said its membership rose 30% in the past year, and the nonprofit group represents just a portion of the city's digital industries.
The city's prominent tech figures have already given to candidates expected to run in citywide elections this year, campaign-finance records show, a pattern likely to continue as the campaign season heats up.
Kevin Ryan, chief executive of online luxury retailer Gilt Groupe, contributed $1,000 to City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, a Democrat expected to vie for mayor, and gave the same amount to state Sen. Daniel Squadron and Reshma Saujani, two Democrats preparing to run for public advocate. Andrew Rasiej, chairman of New
York Tech Meetup, gave $100 to mayoral hopeful Bill de Blasio. Fred Wilson, of Manhattan-based Union Square Ventures, has contributed the maximum of $4,950 to Mr. Squadron and Ms. Saujani.
Meanwhile, the city Campaign Finance Board is looking to get the technology industry directly involved in the election process itself. Officials have reached out to Google and other companies to ask if they would consider sponsoring a mayoral debate. A board spokesman said it wants to broadcast debates online and engage voters via social media. A Google spokesman said the debate proposal hadn't yet been discussed with city officials.
The industry has been concerned about finding a mayoral candidate as friendly to the tech sector as Mr. Bloomberg. During his tenure, the city has rolled out Wi-Fi in public parks, expanded broadband access for businesses and will open much more municipal data utilized by software developers by 2018.
The mayor's major tech legacy will be the establishment of an applied-sciences campus on Roosevelt Island. The city will contribute $100 million and 11 acres of public land toward the technology-oriented school, a joint venture between Cornell University and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology slated to open in 2017.
So far, by the measure of Mr. Bloomberg, the mayoral contenders haven't yet cracked the tech sector's political code.
"They're all quite interested in talking to the tech industry," said Mr. Wilson, whose venture-capital firm was an early backer of social-media companies like Twitter Inc. "If you really want to win the hearts and minds of the tech community, you'd have to learn our language."
The candidates, he added, aren't going to appeal to tech workers' wallets. "You're going to appeal to their worldview," he said.
The tech constituency encompasses a range of potential voters who remain unlikely to behave as a traditional bloc. "It's venture capitalists and 23-year-old graphic designers in Bushwick," Mr. Dash said. "It's labor and management. It's not traditional allies."
Proposals the tech industry is considering range from the appointment of a deputy mayor for information technology to tax incentives that are aimed at making the city more attractive to companies. But being heard in a city dominated by entrenched interests and established industries will be a challenge.
"It's not as if they're going to be the only well-heeled set of actors in the election arena," said Bruce Berg, a political-science professor at Fordham University. "It really depends upon how this tech group enters the conversation and how seriously they're taken amidst all the other noise of a mayoral campaign."
Mr. Rasiej, chairman of Tech Meetup, said the 2011 fight against antipiracy legislation was a "watershed moment" that brought more than 2,000 protesters, largely from the tech sector, to the city offices of U.S. Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand. Congressional backers eventually abandoned the bills. "I expect that the city will recognize that technology is not a slice of the pie—it's the pan," Mr. Rasiej said.
São Paulo - The elections changed dramatically after the first year of Barack Obama to the U.S. presidency in 2008. The use of social networking has transformed the world in digital key part of the dispute.
Today, no candidate has dared to flout the web, including Brazil. Obama just turn the elections again and this time in an even more radical. The team president was beyond social networks and used the big data technology in winning votes. To do this, set up a huge database, with details of each voter and how people react to different approaches. The information oriented volunteers indicated the best ways to raise funds and identified who could be convinced to support the reelection of the president.
At campaign headquarters in Chicago, a group of scientists specializing in the analysis of large amounts of data has been hired to work exclusively with big data, system used to analyze a huge amount of information, process it and draw conclusions from the numbers . The Obama team retired intuition. Tossed in the trash rules considered infallible by political parties, how to focus all advertising on primetime TV, post tons of material with similar content or shoot one email to all registered voters. In this election, each procedure was designed to target a specific set of people.
The result of each act was measured, compared and analyzed. All information was incorporated into the database, which was becoming more intelligent. "History will show that this campaign was the most sophisticated in the world.
Any candidate, political party or organization that does not adapt to this new way to get support is likely to be overlooked or even extinct, "said Andrew Rasiej INFO, an expert in the use of technology in politics and founder of Personal Democracy Media site (personaldemocracy.com). According to him, while Obama has used the technology to build a campaign structure comparable to a scientific research center, Mitt Romney created the equivalent of a computer store.
To produce a huge archive of information, Jim Messina, Obama's team coordinator for reelection, lost no time. Mounting the database began in 2011 with the hiring of Rayid Ghani as chief scientist. Ghani held the position of senior researcher and director of the group analyzes of Accenture Technology Labs. Among his specialties is identifying consumption patterns. One of his many accomplishments was to create a system capable of predicting the final price of an item on eBay with 96% accuracy.
Details about work led by Ghani were kept secret and only began to be known now, after Obama's victory. One of the applications created by them was called Dreamcatcher ("dreamcatcher", in English). The team has innovated much to mount a real Big Brother election as the way to transform this information into ratings. Many of the solutions created to reach voters were adapted from techniques used by companies to attract consumers, such as targeted marketing and microsegmentation. The goal was to convince the right people to make donations, work seeking support and attend the polls because the voting is not compulsory in the United States.
The level of detail is impressive. Imagine a mother of two who lives in a small town in the state of Ohio, in the Midwest of the United States. She voted in the last election, registered sailed up and sometimes the site of Obama (less than in the 2008 race), but never donated. Their children attend public school. She usually tweet about the environment and still maintains a Facebook page about organic food. All this would be recorded in the database of the Obama team. "The campaign to send her emails from Michelle Obama on environmental policies planned by the president and public education," says consultant Andrew Rasiej. Only women with similar profiles receive such messages.