FEMA's missed opportunity to use communities for creative and innovative thinking

Over the weekend I have been triggered by the post of Matt Ball about how FEMA is seeking to involve the community. Matt is talking about how “FEMA is encouraging submissions from communities of practice” (where he actually means communities of interest). My thinking was not about that. FEMA is missing a great opportunity by throwing an invitation to submit innovative ideas for “disaster prevention” just out in the open.

Thinking along the line of provoking communities and involving them in improving the way FEMA can do their job is good. But they should have aimed at leaders of communities and seek the boundary spanners, rather than just posting the initative and spreading the word. It's not effective on a short term and there's a good chance that the ideas are not based on collective wisdom of the communities but rather the individual wisdom of those who sent something in.

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