PRESS RELEASE: MAPLight.org Wins International World Summit Award For Groundbreaking Work on Government Transparency
BERKELEY, CA, September 28, 2007 - MAPLight.org has been chosen as a top project worldwide by the World Summit Award, a prestigious biannual international competition for the best public-benefit technology projects.
Several months ago we were chosen as the top project in the U.S. in our category, E-Government. In early September, multimedia and website experts from 32 countries met on the island of Brijuni, Croatia, evaluating MAPLight.org along with the top entries from 160 countries. In the category of E-Government, we were chosen as one of the five winners worldwide! (Read the Award Letter.)
Our tiny organization, with just four full-time staff, competed against some of the best-funded organizations in the world. The other winners in our category were national governments, including Denmark's citizen information portal, Ireland's government information site, and the Lower House of the German Parliament. Amazing!
We are proud to receive this tremendous honor. The world's citizens want and deserve transparency and accountability from their leaders. It is my hope that this recognition of our work will encourage activists and governments worldwide to support the movement for government transparency, accountability, and reform.
We have had growing international interest in our work since the launch of our U.S Congress site just four months ago. We have fielded inquiries from groups wanting to extend MAPLight.org's approach to Australia, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. As I write this, two graduate students from U.C. Berkeley's School of Information and the Goldman School of Public Policy are researching how the MAPLight.org approach could be extended to developing countries, to promote transparency and fight corruption.
In November I will travel to Venice, Italy to receive the World Summit Award on MAPLight.org's behalf. I will participate in the WSA's conference highlighting the work of all the winners, which will bring increased visibility for the critical public values our project represents.
MAPLight.org is the work of many motivated people who give their time, money, and talents to support our shared vision of transparency, accountability and reform. I'd like to especially recognize MAPLight.org associate director Andrew Page, research manager Sean Tanner, lead programmer Neil Drumm, graphic designer Pauline Au, and our dedicated, talented, volunteer research team.
My special thanks also to those of you who have contributed financially to MAPLight.org. We could never have made it this far without your vision and support. I look forward to sharing many future successes with you in the months and years to come!