Public goods are “hidden in front of us, every day”. People benefit from clean air, clean water, street lights, public parks and beaches, a 911 call system, fire protection, food and drug safety, ports, public health services, schools, bridges, jogging trails and scores more. The list is enormous. But most people are oblivious to the source of these things they enjoy. Moreover, mainstream economics, as taught in the colleges and universities, has a negative interpretation of public goods and no concept of non-market production. The absence of “public goods” in our national discourse denies citizens the ability to make decisions about things that matter mightily to the quality of their lives and their communities.
The purpose of the charette is to identify ways to use social media and film to begin to advance the concept of public goods, and get the term into public discourse.
A charette refers to any collaborative session in which a group of participants drafts a solution to an issue, program, or design problem. While the procedure and structure of a charette vary, it often serves as a way of quickly generating a program or design solution while integrating the aptitudes and interests of a diverse group of people. The charrette has become a technique for consulting with stakeholders and experts.
June Sekera has over 25 years of management and leadership experience at the federal, state and local levels of government. June is a member of the American Society for Public Administration. She received her Masters degree in Public Administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and studied economics at Harvard and MIT. For more information about the public goods initiative see the Real World Economics Review, May 9, 2013:
Tom Hulst, currently an educational and organizational consultant, has taught government and politics at the community college level; worked on the policy staff of the governor of Washington State, served as superintendent of schools in Washington state, and was a facilitator/coach in the Washington State Leadership Academy. He possesses an M.A. in public administration and economics and has been a member of the American Society for Public Administration for over 30 years.