Fed 100 nomination: EPA’s Jeremy Ames
I noted earlier that I was going to make — and post — a number of nominations for Federal Computer Week’s Fed 100 awards. Of course, nothing motivates like a deadline — and the deadline is COB today. (You can post your nominations to FCW online at www.fcw.com/fed100. The 1105 Government Information Group sites migrated to a new content management system over the weekend — you can tell by the redesigned sites — but there are a number of loose ends — including the Fed 100 nomination form. So my guess is they will give people time to get their nominations in, I hope.)
As I noted, I will post my nomination here as well.
This one is for EPA’s Jeremy Ames, who spearheaded that wonderful project to create radon public service announcements by tapping in to the power of us.
Describe this person’s job
Jeremy Ames works for EPA’s Indoor Environments Division, which is responsible for air quality of indoor environments. This includes everything from asthma to radon.
Describe the work for which this person is being nominated
Ames was responsible for creating public service announcements. The challenge: Educate people about the dangers or radon. Rather then just hiring a company and paying them to create these PSAs for EPA, he used an innovative Web 2.0 approach: He let people create them for the EPA. And they did. They created their PSAs — and posted them on YouTube — and then EPA let people vote on the best one. Not only did they get more bang for EPA’s buck — you can see the videos for yourself.
What impact did this work have on the person’s organization or the larger federal IT community?
This was an innovative experiment — and should be an example to many other federal agencies — it was low risk and potentially high reward. Ames led the effort — and one of the most wonderful parts of it is that he did it largely under the radar. Most of EPA’s senior management team didn’t know about it. That is a real credit to their efforts to create a culture where people feel empowered to try something new. But it is a wonderful example of where an agency decided that it didn’t have to control the message — in the end, the people impacted by radon know more than anybody else. Ames allowed them to tell their stories.
In what way did the nominee go above and beyond their job description?
This experiment seems so easy, but as we know, few things are really easy. This was Ames idea — and he carried it out. The concept is simple, but he had to swim against the tide. The project spurred the creation of a its own social network of people impacted by radon, radonleaders.org.
View the winning video here… view the runners up here… and hear EPA’s Ames and Tom Kelly talk about it on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris here.