Small(town) is beautiful and the manor.govfresh wrap-up


E.F. Schumacher’s Small is Beautiful neatly summarizes my beliefs on how society should work and provides the most appropriate slogan for the way I approach much of my life.

‘Small is beautiful’ best describes manor.govfresh, held this past Sept 20-21, in Manor, TX, and exemplifies where I believe we can have the most impact on changing how government works and where the open government community should turn its focus. The theme around manor.govfresh was government and technology, but the underlying premise was learning how we can strengthen community at its most local. So much is discussed at the federal, state and major metropolitan levels that we see small-town America as an after-thought. It’s not sexy, but it’s where change can happen faster and have a more immediate impact on citizens.

manor.govfresh was a special event for me personally and professionally, and I want to thank the City of Manor, TX and the Manor Independent School District for letting GovFresh (and me) play a little part in your big role in changing the face of government.

I also want to thank ‘Team manor.govfresh,’ including Dustin Haisler, Geovanna Ricaldi, Mark Headd, Kevin Curry, Sara Moore, Bob Greenberg, Sid Burgess, Margarita Quihuis and Andrew Krzmarzick for your time and hard work in planning everything. You guys helped put on a big-time event in small-town America and believed in its importance from the beginning.

Much of what was reported real-time came from Alex Howard, and I can’t thank him enough for making the trek, re-introducing me to Scotch and being a great friend.

manor.govfresh highlights include making over City of De Leon, having U.S. Deputy Chief Technology Officer Beth Noveck attend and speak, getting a warm welcome each morning from the Manor ISD student choir and band (video below), connecting in real life with people I greatly admire in the open government community and, of course, getting a key to Manor.

More manor.govfresh coverage and discussion here:

Thanks again to everyone who participated in such a wonderful event. Until next time …

About Luke Fretwell

Luke Fretwell is the founder of GovFresh, co-founder/CEO of ProudCity and co-host of the podcast, The Government We Need. Connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn or email at

2 Responses

  1. Luke
    You say that my father – E.F Schumacher – had an impact on your ideas. Please go to the website that we have set up to mark his centenary next year and add your comments into the Blog section. We are pulling together comments from all over the world from peoplewho say they were influenced by him.

    Many thanks

    Kind regards

    Virginia Schumacher


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