I've spent the last four years actively working in the Open Government, Open Data, and Civic Engagement space. I don't consider myself as an advocate, activist, lobbyist, or expert. I like to think of myself as a Fanboy and I celebrate change instead of damning the status quo.
There really isn't anyone that I know of on the Canadian (or any) landscape quite like Richard.
He's pretense-free, which is rare. He's thoroughly committed to his ideals, of which he's not at the centre - we are. Richard has a code of ethics that he follows, religiously, because be believes integrity matters. Richard is open, a natural communicator, great at breaking down complex issues and ridiculously committed to making a difference.
Best part is, Richard does what he does because he believes in it. He's not after profit, even to his own detriment sometimes. This doesn't mean he's got trouble securing funding or donations for projects - #OGT14 is proof of that. It means that you never need worry about him being inefficient with resources.
What that means is he's the kind of public servant we'd love to have more of.
It's kinda hard to save the world on an empty stomach, though, so Richard is looking for support to do what he does. To be clear - his services aren't for sale; he believes that they're valuable enough that someone out there will surely be willing to pay for them.
Richard isn't looking for an employer, an investor or a sponsor - he wants a patron. Consider him a civic engagement artist.
I'm going to invest in Richard - he's earned it and besides, I can't wait to see what he comes up with next. Whatever it may be, it's something Canada will benefit from.
Check him out, folks - this is community art like you've never seen before. We need more like him.