US Government Uses Blog Summit to Foster Discussion on Pandemic Flu

I2m_hhs_pandemicflublog_2 Consider this a fair warning – this week I will often be blogging about client work as I contribute to the Climate Response Blog.  As I head to London for that event, simultaneously our team has been spearheading a bold new initiative for the Department of Health and Human Services designed to engage bloggers in a discussion around the potential threat of a flu pandemic.  The Pandemic Flu Leadership Blog launched late last week with 16 contributors from health, community, business and faith-based sectors including Pierre Omidyar (founder of Ebay), Nedra Weinriech (author of the Spare Change blog) and many leading authorities on pandemic flu.  The blog convenes these thinkers and other participants for 5 weeks, leading up to a Leadership Summit event in Washington DC.

Though the topic is pretty grim, many experts say a flu pandemic is impending and not a question of if, but of when.  The blog is an interesting experiment from a government agency on bringing influential voices together and thinking outside the powerful walls of Washington.  The blog summit runs through June 27th and will likely stir up some great discussion online both about the topic and about the fact that some government agencies are finally getting smarter and more innovative about fostering discussion and using personal media to spread awareness about an important issue.

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