'Open' Revolution #10 - Solutions

A Strategic Plan for the U.S. to Succeed in this 21st Century 'Information Age'

In this final blog in my series on the 'Open Revolution', my focus has shifted to 'solutions.'  What can we do in the U.S. to restore the American Dream and guide our country through this transition from the 'Industrial Age' of the 1900's into the 21st century 'Information Age'.  The first and most important task is to reach consensus on a national plan for the future, not a partisan political party platform. 

What we need is a clearly articulated vision of the future we want for the U.S., coupled with a strategy, goals, and the major objectives the country needs to be focused on for the next several decades.  One way to craft such a plan and gain consensus, not total agreement, is to collaborate and put together a draft and start the 'open' debate using social media tools and the Internet. This will ensure that the voice of the people will be heard – not just the voices of major corporations, the wealthy, or other special interest groups.

Once consensus starts to emerge around a plan that has been 'openly' debated, then our President and Congressional leaders can hopefully pull a final version together. That plan would lay out what we want to do as a country, then the political parties can put together their platforms on how they would propose go about making the plan a reality. Then the people can vote on which party they want in office and trust to implement the plan.

Political Party Platform  - An official statement of the beliefs, values, policy positions, and specific actions that a political party supports and proclaims in its attempt to appeal to the general public for the purpose of having its candidates voted into office.     See Party Platforms - 2012

So excuse the audacity, but here's a first rough draft of such a plan from one citizen to help start the debate and get people thinking, collaborating, talking openly about where we want to go as a country, and finding new, innovative ways of getting there.

The Vision

Our country must be committed to the long term, helping to create a better world to the next generation of Americans. We need to continually revitalize and redefine what we mean by the 'American Dream'. We must make sure the primary focus of our government is on our citizens and their interests and needs – not the interests of the rich, the powerful, or special interest groups. We must keep our country strong and strive to always try to do what is right – not what is expedient for the moment. Finally, we want the U.S. to be the place that people around the world want to move to in order to realize their dreams.

Principles & Values
We need to be committed to universal values like truth, integrity, liberty, and justice.  We need to emphasize values like a love of country, sense of duty, and a shared national purpose. We ought to be committed to the long term and the next generation of Americans – not increasing short term corporate profits in the next quarter. Finally, we need to reinforce our ongoing commitment to the Constitution and our Bill of Rights, i.e. freedom of speech, religion, press, assembly.

Major Goals
·   Fiscal soundness - Reduce debt; cut outdated or unnecessary programs; ensure our taxes are sufficient to pay for all approved programs; balance the budget.
·   National Security – Protect against Internal and/or External threats to our country.
·   Energy Independence – Free of dependence on oil from other countries; expand support for alternative energy sources, e.g. wind, water, solar, nuclear, clean coal, gas, oil.
·   Commerce & Jobs – Put in place and implement policies to strengthen commerce, job creation, and oversight of key industries to protect our people and the economy.
·   Strive to retain our position as a respected global leader on the world stage.

"The goal for America is to remain a great country. This means that while reducing our deficits, we must also invest in education, infrastructure, research & development, as well as open our society more widely to talented immigrants and fix the regulations that govern our economy."  -  Friedman & Mandelbaum, "That Used to Be Us"

There are many other high priority goals and objectives that must also be addressed such as reducing the influence of corporations and their lobbyists on our political process, i.e. overturn the 'Citizens United' decision.  We must continually strive to improve our education system, healthcare, and our infrastructure, e.g. highways, broadband networks, bridges. Immigration reform is a key issue that must be addressed. Global warming and environmental stewardship is a must. What else? Let's decide as a nation and set clear cut goals. Then we can elect the political party that we believe will be most effective in accomplishing these goals.

For centuries, our future has been left in the hands of political and business leaders, the rich and powerful, and special interest groups. The missing chair at the table where these decisions have been made has been "We the People."  Changes need to be made in this process as we move deeper into this 21st  century "Information Age".

Technology advancements and new tools (e.g. Internet, Social Media) are now available that can and should be used to ensure the government and our leaders are more responsive to the needs of our citizens and the nation as a whole. We must see more collaboration, cooperation, and compromise if we are to succeed and maintain a leadership position on the global stage.

Collaboration, information technology (IT), continuous innovation, and the growing 'Open' Movement  (e.g. open standards, open data, open access, open source) are all key to successfully adapting and competing in the emerging 21st century 'Information Age' and global economy.

Collaboration + Open Solutions = Innovation

In the end, the American Dream is not about meeting the needs of corporations, the wealthy, the powerful, or special interests…  it ought to be about "We the People."

Do you think we ought to have a Strategic Plan for the U.S.? Or do we just simply continue to wing it?

What would you add to this draft Strategic Plan so that we can keep the  'American Dream' alive and ensure the U.S. retains its position as a global leader well into the 21st century?

How do we ensure that "We the People" have a seat at the table so that our voices are heard as the national plan is crafted? Nor just those of the rich, powerful, & special interest groups?


Peter Groen, Senior Editor, Open Health News (OHN)