Land is a precious commodity, and land ownership holds significant value in all parts of the world. In Ghana, land is not only viewed as a monetary asset. Land holds more personal value and Ghanaians view it as part of their heritage and culture. They feel that their land is a piece of them, something they will pass down from generation to generation. With this strong attachment to land, land rights are a very sensitive and pertinent issue. But in Ghana, owning land and having proof of land ownership do not necessarily go hand in hand. This is where Thomas and his company Landmapp offer a unique service: mapping land and providing official land tenure documentation to smallholder farmers.
“This election in particular has brought to bear some of the deep divisions we have in this country. It’s critical that the millennial generation leads the way in being bridge-builders politically, ethnically, racially and socio-demographically.”
Steven Olikara is the Co-Founder and President of the Millennial Action Project (MAP), a nonpartisan nonprofit with a mission to re-establish political cooperation across parties and defeat the polarization and gridlock that is holding back the United States government. By working in close collaboration with lawmakers, MAP has already advanced legislation on issues including entrepreneurship, technology, 21st century skills training, veterans’ employment, immigration, volunteerism, and more.
If you had the technology skills and opportunity to transform your government for the digital era, would you do it?
In 2015, Travis Moore attended the Code for America annual summit, a collection of some of the most talented civic tech leaders in the country, all working to build a government for the digital age. Travis couldn’t help but notice that many of the people and partnerships involved weren’t working directly with Members of Congress. “I was working with former Representative [Henry] Waxman at the time, and I remember wondering: Of all these people, who is working to bring tech into Congress? Aside from Seamus Kraft and a few others, no one was really doing it.”
Through his time in the policymaking world, Travis learned that most Members of Congress weren’t able to explain fundamental technological concepts. Very few had any tech training. “This was a huge problem,” Travis explained. “In today’s world, tech isn’t just a slice of the policy-making pie. It’s the crust that impacts everything. In essence, every policy issue in the 21st century is also a technology policy issue.” So, while the work of Code for America is both productive and forward-thinking, Travis felt that more was necessary. Technology leaders needed to be truly embedded into the policy-making process within Congress. And so TechCongress was born.
“For of those to whom much is given, much is required.” – President John F. Kennedy, May 1963
These words have inspired many, including Seamus Kraft, Executive Director and Co-Founder of The OpenGov Foundation. Seamus grew up in Marblehead, Massachusetts, the birthplace of the American Navy in a state with roots that predate the United States of America. He describes it as a place where the principles that govern free society are palpable–they are in the air, where the community is still governed directly by citizens through a town meeting. Seamus’ family raised him to understand that the most important thing he can do with his life is to meaningfully serve others. All of this has led Seamus to develop a passion for service, which is why he works every day to help people live their best lives.
“Philosopher Jeremy Bentham believed 18th century institutions are founded upon three pillars: the court system, the postal service and uncensored newspapers. The postal service and delivery of news have already been dramatically changed by the internet and other technology. Crowdjury is a step towards revolutionizing the court system.”
Federico Ast is a social entrepreneur and the founder of Crowdjury, an online platform that crowdsources judicial proceedings, including the filing of complaints, evaluation of evidence, trial and jury verdict. It is designed to reach a true verdict for each case quickly and at minimal cost, with the aim of making justice affordable and accessible for all.