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[ba-unrev-talk] Catherine Austin Fitts in Palo Alto Friday, Jan 31st

Catherine Austin Fitts opens dialogue with tech community to discuss
open/free tools for government transparency & community development    (01)

January 31st from 3-5:30 at The knOwhere Store, 2741 Middlefield Road,
Palo Alto (at Colorado St, 3 blocks south of Oregon Expressway)    (02)

Co-sponsored by the Commons ( www.commons.org ), Planetworkers
(www.planetworkers.net ), Venture Collective
(www.venturecollective.org) and Friendly Favors ( www.favors.org )    (03)

At 3pm, Henri Poole will interview Catherine Austin Fitts (
www.solari.com ) about her experience with transparency software.  
She is a former partner and member of the board of Dillon Read and
Asst. Sect_y of Housing, serving as FHA Commissioner during the first
Bush Administration.  She will give an overview of the importance of
neighborhood databanks, as well as the software tool, Community
Wizard, she was developing for communities to access data about how
government taxes, expenditures and credit work in their community. 
Catherine turned down a Federal Reserve governorship to focus on using
new technology to create financial transparency and accountability for
the flow of monies in local places. This transparency is an antidote
for Enron-style cooked books and fraud, plus the related privatization
of community and government assets at below market prices. Creating
this transparency is an investment opportunity that integrates
information technology with community development and traditional
municipal operations.    (04)

Catherine Austin Fitts, the former Assistant Secretary of HUD under
Bush, started Hamilton Securities Group in 1993. After winning a
contract with  HUD to improve loan recovery rates, Hamilton began
building an easy-to-operate computer software system to track the
money flows in any given region. The program, CommunityWizard,
provided the kind of transparency needed to expose cooked books.
Thanks to Hamilton's innovations, HUD was able to save taxpayers over
$2 billion through defaulted loan sales. But, depending on which side
of the law you sit, CommunityWizard was either a godsend or a threat.
In 1996, various organizations began descending on Hamilton and
CommunityWizard. The CommunityWizard technology was ultimately
destroyed in 1998 when Department of Justice agents stormed in and
wrecked Hamilton's office. While the allegations were recently
cleared, litigation is currently underway against the Department of
Justice, and John Ervin, a HUD contract servicer. Catherine feels it
is now time to help local communities bring CommunityWizard- like
tools back to life.    (05)

Henri Poole is a social entrepreneur, technologist, and software
activist. He is currently exploring virtual communities, reputations,
and gift economies with Affero, a start-up he co-founded in 2001.
Prior to starting Affero, Henri led MandrakeSoft of Paris, France, to
become one of the world's leading creators of the GNU/Linux operating
system. In 1993, Henri co-founded and led Vivid Studios, a leading
Internet consulting firm, until it's sale to Platinum Technologies in
1998. Henri currently serves on the advisory board of the Free
Software Foundation.    (06)

Following the interview, two panelists will then respond from their
perspectives. Annette Riggs of GeoSystems, is an expert in trade,
distribution and fulfillment organizations, with a particular
expertise in non-cash execution models, complimentary currency and
exchange systems and technologies. Jim Fournier, a comprehensive
systems thinker, designer and analyst, is co-founder of Planetwork, a
San Francisco based non-profit consortium that brings together
information technology professionals, projects and innovations
dedicated to ecological and economic sustainability. The session will
conclude with a discussion of the need and vision for an open source
local transparency and accountability movement with the audience.    (07)

There is no charge for this session, and there will be a request for
donation.  This event is part of the week long bay area _Magic and
Money_ tour.  If you cannot attend, or wish to know of the other
events on the tour, go to www.magicandmoney.com.    (08)

At 5:30 there will be a short tour of the Knowhere Store
(www.knowherestore.com), a 20,000 square foot facility designed to
develop and apply GroupGenius(sm).  This is an opportunity to learn
how the physical and process tools Matt and Gail Taylor
(www.mgtaylor.com) have created over the last two decades work.    (09)

Contact:  JW Ballard  jballard@commons.org     707-829-3976.    (010)

--     (011)

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How can you help? Check out:
http://svcs.affero.net/rm.php?r=Poole&p=Solari    (012)