This is the archived SXSW 2012 schedule. Please see the current schedule here.

What Civil Society Can Learn from Social Web

#sxsw #socialweb

From Meet(ing)Up to borrowing Neighbor('s)Goods, civil society has come a long way since the days of Locke and Hobbes. In this era of 'Civil Society 2.0,' social web tools continue to transform local landscapes across the globe, connecting the digital with the physical with a few clicks of the mouse. But does the social web enable more informed and engaged communities? More important, does it enact significant offline change? With these questions in mind, this panel will explore how the social web connects individuals over shared interests in real time, from fixing pesky potholes to discovering drink specials at the local pub. Considering this convergence of technology and public space, it will also discuss how the social web facilitates co-presence and works to create more efficient and sustainable neighborhoods. Through online interaction, crowdsourcing tools allow us to see through the eyes and hear through the ears of people we haven’t physically met yet--emphasis on the "yet."



Ben Berkowitz CEO & Co-Founder

Ben is a Co Founder and the CEO of, a mobile and web platform that allows users to report issues that they want fixed or improved in their neighborhood to their government and others that can help fix an issue.

SeeClickFix is host to one of the largest open government communities on the web and Ben has been a key player in the Gov20 movement as well as the hyper local news movement. For his work with SeeClickFix Ben has been recognized by the Huffington Post as a 2010 Tech Game Changer and "The Greatest Person of the Day." Inc., Fast Company and Governing Magazine have also recognized his work as an entrepreneur and an innovator with various awards.

Ben's work has pushed geo-location on mobile applications and use of the googlemaps API to new places with his involvement in the SeeClickFix alerting and mobile reporting system. He has also been actively involved in the growing Open311 API Standard.

Daniel Hengeveld Co-Founder

Daniel Hengeveld is the technical co-founder of, a community where you can meet your neighbors and share your stuff. He also works at and has been involved with a number of Los Angeles startups and media companies, including Participant Media, Disney.

Doug Matthews Chief Comm Dir City of Austin

Doug is the Chief Communications Director for the City of Austin, overseeing all aspects of the city's community engagement, media relations, multimedia production, design and web development. His office has been a leader in developing new methods for engaging local communities by blending new technologies with traditional outreach. Prior to Austin, Doug served in similar positions in Clearwater, FL and Largo, FL. He earned an MPA from the University of South Florida and a BA in Journalism from the University of Central Florida. He continues to serve in a leadership role with the International City/County Managers Association (ICMA) and the City/County Communications and Marketing Association (3CMA). He has presented on the subjects of emergency communication, effective media relations and community engagement innovations at the Performance Institute, the Alliance for Innovation, IBTTA, University of Texas, ICMA and 3CMA.

Kathryn Fink Community Dev Lead Meetup

Community/Media/Movement Making Maven at Meetup, the world's largest network of local groups. While her primary focus is on building community within the Meetup network, she lends her expertise to non-profit, media, political, and government organizations in their own pursuit of empowering and connecting people.

Get in touch @kathrynfink

Lenny Rachitsky Co-Founder/CEO Localmind

Founder of Localmind, all around nice guy

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