Reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence. That is one online dictionary definition of trust. When used as a measurement for institutional legitimacy, trust is a bit tired and tattered today in the USA and around the world. Governments, businesses, news out- lets and even religious institutions have failed the most basic trust tests. Still, government, business, and faith moves forward and sometimes thrives. Is trust perhaps, over-rated? Is it really all that necessary to operate effectively? A basic premise of the American Constitution was to distrust government and power. This assumed distrust in the American Constitution, is provided for in the many checks and balances on power. Freedom of the press exists to ex- pose the hidden “truth.” Beyond government, most business deals are hammered out in contracts, reviewed and edited by attorneys from each side. Juries in court can often listen to one side lie to them. Our courts are designed for the placement of doubt into the minds of the jury when defending a criminal. Our very DNA has mistrust built into it as the hair on the back of our necks rises when a stranger approaches.
Irina Fursman of Maplewood has been all but declared an “enemy of the state” by a Russian government-controlled TV station that broadcasts in her native Ukraine. Now I need to digress here and explain that this is also a global love story involving a strangely sweet Russian tradition that mixes burning and champagne and how Richard Fursman once spied on an uncle of his future bride.
The suburb of 35,000 residents would seem to have reason to cheer. It’s home to 3M’s headquarters—the company’s sprawling campus dominates the southern end of the town’s border at Interstate 94. Blocks of modest, post-World War II bungalows line White Bear Avenue, while more lavish housing developments continue to sprout up along cul-de-sacs on the city’s eastern end. The suburb also burnished its hipster credentials with the 2005 opening of Myth, a multilevel nightclub with capacity for 4,000 patrons.
**The following guest post is by [Matt
Rosenberg](http://socialcapitalreview.org/author/matt-rosenberg), founder and editor of [Public Data Ferret](http://socialcapitalreview.org/public-data-ferret), a project of the non-profit [Public Eye Northwest](http://publiceyenorthwest.org/). In this special in-depth report, Matt looks at what it will take for the efforts of the recently formed global Open Government Partnership to succeed, taking in initiatives from across the globe and addressing their context-specific challenges and potentials.**