Monday, November 15, 2010
Let the people fix it themselves
In the past week I have seen or read about two instances where, when left to determine it themselves, the people turn out just fine... reminding me that even though we are human, we can surprise ourselves.
Two instances: Homelessness and the Budget Deficit.
In an article in the Economist a recent study was done on a small sample group in London wherein homeless people were given funds directly and helped acquire the goods or services they needed. Guess what? It actually worked in 11 of 13 cases, people are off the streets. Now, again- not a large sample size, but inspiring. You can read more in the article here.
In a flurry among my facebook friends over the weekend, I had a solid handful of people re-post a bit in the NYT that encourages the people to fix the national budget. By clicking off options from spending cuts to tax increases you can fix the short term and long term budgets and see your progress throughout the entire process.
Both of these instances are illustrations of handing power to the people in order to hopefully come up with some creative ideas about how to fix real problems. I LOVE it. LOVE it. This is the kind of thing that not only our government, but many organizations need. A fresh set of eyes. I do hope that more organizations and local governments start to do it. Because sometimes the people who know and really live in the organizations have some great insights about how things might be done better.