How can governments and other organizations benefit from the ideas of the public? Can technology and fun, entertaining apps like Minecraft, capture their innovation? Some governments believe it's worth a try and are creating ways to leverage these ideas.

When we think of governments and technology, the image that springs to mind is more likely to be clunky computers and red tape than it is nimble innovators.

But things are changing. The geeks in jeans are making their way into government and starting to shake things up.

New ideas are changing the way governments use technology – whether that’s the UK’s intelligence organisation GCHQ finding a secure way to use the instant messenger Slack or senior mandarins trumpeting the possibilities of big data.

Governments are also waking up to the idea that the public are not only users, but also a powerful resource – and that engaging them online is easier than ever before. “People get very excited about using technology to make a real impact in the world,” says Chris Lintott, the co-founder of Zooniverse, a platform that organisations can use to develop their own citizen science projects for everything from analysing planets to spotting penguins.

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