The “Constituent Success Platform,” Origin Story & Basic Idea
Yesterday, I took the day off from my regular duties as a manager with the City of Oakland so that I could attend a conference put on by Dfinity (www.dfinity.org). The “Sodium” event marked the last milestone before Dfinity launches the “Internet Computer”. As the name suggests, this innovation makes the Internet not only a “network” but a “computer”. According to Dfinity, “The Internet Computer Protocol (ICP) is extending the internet with serverless cloud functionality and enabling secure software and a new breed of open internet services.” (source) In certain respects, the Internet Computer will compete directly with “big tech” (Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook, Google, etc.). In other respects, and far more importantly, it will be able to do things that big tech could never do.
My plan is to ride the Dfinity wave by joining the Internet Computer developer community. Over the past five years, I have been developing an idea that I call a “Constituent Success Platform” (CSP). My CSP was inspired by and initially developed to run on the Salesforce platform. That platform is a “Customer Relationship Management” system, or CRM, that has evolved into something that Salesforce markets as a “Customer Success Platform”. Salesforce is the original “CSP”. Crucially, that CSP was designed by and for the private sector. Our CSP will be designed by and for the people. The Internet Computer makes such a project possible.
Specifically, our CSP will be designed to support and realize the full potential of public sector institutions, and specifically local governments like cities and towns (e.g., City of Oakland). Elected officials and administrations come and go, but cities and towns persist as a function of the complex relations between, on the one hand, municipal agencies and public servants and, on the other, those who live, work, study and play in a given city or town — that is, constituents. These relations are — or can be — relatively durable, and only minimally subject to the electoral cycles that tend to dominate our perception of government at all levels. As a result, these very relations are seen as secondary, assuming that they are seen at all.
The importance of these relations is further obscured by the fact that public service is typically reactive, episodic and transactional. As a result, the true potential of these very relations — as active, lasting, and meaningful — is not only neglected, but effectively negated.
This publication has been established to support a concerted effort to bring those relations out of the shadows and to realize their true potential by creating a Constituent Success Platform on the Internet Computer.