Focusing on six words: Helping government do its job better

A government 2.0 movie — really

with 4 comments

So there is a movie about government 2.0 — really. It comes out of Britain and just debuted last week. It’s called Us Now.

Us Now is a one-hour documentary produced by Banyak Films. It had its premiere at the RSA — the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts — on Dec. 3.

Here is a preview…

I’m trying to get in touch with the people behind the movie… see if there is a U.S. release or whether it will eventually be posted on YouTube or something… We’d also like to talk to him on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris.

After the break, read the synopsis of the movie…

The synopsis as pulled from the movie’s Web site:

In a world in which information is like air, what happens to power?

Us Now is a documentary film project about the power of mass collaboration, government and the Internet.

Us Now tells the stories of online networks that are challenging the existing notion of hierarchy. For the first time, it brings together the fore-most thinkers in the field of participative governance to describe the future of government.

All of the material generated during the project will be available to view online and the project will culminate in an hour long documentary to be released publicly in January 2009.


In his student flat in Colchester, Jack Howe is staring intently into his computer screen. He is picking the team for Ebbsfleet United’s FA Trophy Semi-Final match against Aldershot . Around the world 35,000 other fans are doing the same thing, because together, they own and manage the football club. If distributed networks of people can run complex organisations such as football clubs, what else can they do?

Us Now takes a look at how this type of participation could transform the way that countries are governed. It tells the stories of the online networks whose radical self-organising structures threaten to change the fabric of government forever.

Us Now follows the fate of Ebbsfleet United, a football club owned and run by its fans; Zopa, a bank in which everyone is the manager; and Couch Surfing, a vast online network whose members share their homes with strangers.

The founding principles of these projects — transparency, self-selection, open participation — are coming closer and closer to the mainstream of our social and political lives. Us Now describes this transition and confronts politicians George Osborne and Ed Milliband with the possibilities for participative government as described by Don Tapscott and Clay Shirky amongst others.

Written by cdorobek

December 9, 2008 at 7:06 AM

4 Responses

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  1. Chris — Cool! I saw this clip on Twitter recently. I like the last quote — it’s not about adopting new tools, it’s about adopting new behaviors.

    Chris Parente

    December 9, 2008 at 9:42 PM

  2. This is phenomenally interesting. I, too, have tried to contact the producers re: U.S. screenings. Thanks for sharing this!


    December 15, 2008 at 11:25 AM

  3. […] A government 2.0 movie — really (We had the director of the movie on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris on Friday. You can hear that conversation here .) […]

  4. This is a great movie that I think everyone should go see. Its all about attitude and behaviours and that is what brings out transparency and open participation from the big boys! When it comes around to your city, you should definitely take a backseat and endulge yourself in a fantastic movie for anyone with any idea of whats been happening!

    Girly Quotes

    January 20, 2009 at 11:55 AM

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