Open Source Organizing

Quintus Jett, a professor at the Thayer School of Engieering at Dartmouth College, is leading the Gentilly Project.

The Project is making GIS technology (Geographical Information Systems) available in a public, web-based form so that the Gentilly community can create an easily accessed database to track the condition of neighborhood properties and the progress being made to restore them.

Jett is particularly interested in what he called “open structure organzing.”Comments from Professor Jett:

“…We’re really missing out on a lot of organizing that could take place, particularly for something like Katrina response where there are people who are willing to contribute their professional level skills.”

“The big question is what elements of structure are necessary for people to guide themselves without a lot of explicit direction.”

“(How to make it possible for) any motivated participant to be involved in a public project without bureaucratic controls…that’s the really the question for organizations in the 21st century.”

“More people would do things for New Orleans and in New Orleans if it was exactly clear to them what was needed, where and how they could be of assistance.”

“(We’re looking to make New Orleans) more transparent…what’s recovering, what isn’t…if we can all see where it is, different organizaitons and individuals can be in a position to coordinate with each other to help the recovery move forward.”

“There is more than meets the eye. There are more people returning to New Orleans than is evident looking at the vacated houses…”

Interview with Quintus Jett

Click here for info about The Gentilly Project.

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