Civic Spark

An Open Government Guide -- Coming in 2014

You've got a spark, an idea, for opening government

But how do you build that spark of an idea into a tool, a system, a policy, into something that actually opens government?

Civic Spark is the Guidebook for Opening Government

Civic Spark guides you in taking open government ideas to reality. In Civic Spark, Sarah Schacht provides strategies for successful open government projects and overcoming common challenges.


Civic Spark is a practical guide for citizen activists, civic hackers, electeds, and civil servants. Schacht weaves interviews with open government leaders, academic research, and her own experience working with governments. Pointed and personable, Civic Spark builds your capacity to launch and sustain successful open government projects and policies.

About the Author

Sarah Schacht is an veteran entrepreneur of the open government sector. With over a decade of experience in ground-breaking political and open government technology, she brings a practical perspective to open government work. In 2003, she led technical planning on various Dean for America campaign sites (New Hampshire, Generation Dean), including original social network strategy. As founder of Knowledge As Power (a nonpartisan nonprofit), she launched the first legislation tracking service in the US based on machine-readable data. From 2010-2012, she convened Open Gov West, a series of open gov conferences and events in Canada and the United States. She advised and consulted 150 government and civil society leaders on open government technology, policy, and cultural strategies. Her work, Democracy, Under Everything, is a part of O'Reilly Publishing's book, Open Government. Working with philanthropic organizations, Schacht crafted social media and community engagement strategies. She is currently launching a consultancy called Smarter Civic and completing Civic Spark: An Open Government Guide. When she's not working to open government, she's surfing, working to make restaurants safer to eat at, and leading neighborhood projects in Seattle, Washington.