People not only in this country but around the world, at the local, state, and federal level have figured out ways to solve problems or have adopted new technologies that improve the status quo. Too often, we think locally and spend time reinventing the wheel when the answer to our problem has already been found and adopted elsewhere, if we only knew about it! For example, municipalities nationwide might want to share ...more »
People not only in this country but around the world, at the local, state, and federal level have figured out ways to solve problems or have adopted new technologies that improve the status quo. Too often, we think locally and spend time reinventing the wheel when the answer to our problem has already been found and adopted elsewhere, if we only knew about it! For example, municipalities nationwide might want to share ideas that worked for them such as loaning money to property owners to install solar panels and having the homeowner pay the loan back through their property taxes. Or someone from Germany might want to suggest that allowing homeowners to sell unused solar power back to the utility has dramatically increased the number of solar installations in that country and reduced dependence on foreign oil and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. I know that these two examples are pretty widely known already, but what about those good ideas that folks at the local, state, or federal level have adopted that work well for them that they may be incorrectly assuming that other folks already know about but don't? The idea could be as simple as a specific building code that solves an issue common to many municipalies or as complex as a suggestion for creating a new tax structure. I work at the Federal level and am always interested in learning what new ideas and tools my counterparts in other regions at my agency have adopted that may be useful in my region.
I'm proposing that a national website be established that anyone around the world could access, and that this website be widely promoted and maintained beyond the life of any given adiministration. The purpose of the website would be to solicit suggestions from global citizens on a variety of topics, with subtopics as appropriate. For example, one category might be the Environment, with subcategories of Improving Energy Efficiency, Reducing Air Pollution, Introducing Green Technologies, etc. Other categories might include Improving the Health Care System, Changing the U.S. Tax System, etc. Within each category, individuals anywhere around the world could submit suggestions applicable to the local, State, or Federal level (or all of them if their idea would could be implemented at all levels).
The key is to look at all the ideas (meaning that you have to read through even the half-baked ideas)and screen them effectively and efficiently so that the best ideas move on to action. I'm proposing that a group of annually rotating reps from the local, state, and federal level be selected to sit on 2 levels of committees. The first level would be responsible for reviewing the incoming suggestions and doing the initial screening to see if a suggested idea has merit. Any ideas that have potential merit are passed onto the second level. The second level of committee members would look into each idea to assess the practicality of implementation. Those that pass this level would then be passed on to the appropriate governing body for consideration and potential implementation. The appropriate governing body at the local level might be the National Chamber of Commerce or a national membership of mayors or municipal administrators. The State level might include a national membership of State Governors, or a national association of financial managers at the state level. The Federal level would probably include the relevant Federal agency or Congress.