|An Open Government Prospectus, version 0.6|
IntroductionThree movements are combining to transform government at all levels. Those movements are:
Open Source. The use of open source software tools has enabled governments to adopt new technologies overnight. Tools can be downloaded and tried without a lengthy procurement process or budgeting. The cost to run or maintain them can be insignificant compared to previous generations of commercial systems. Government agencies, universities, foundations, and private industries collaboratively create and then share these tools with others.
Open Data. The internet has allowed the 'publication' or 'syndication' of data sets and time-based services at a level never before imagined. A service agency has many kinds of static and dynamic data that can be shared with its partners and the public. A government agency has many records and other live data such as recycling and facility information that should be search-able or otherwise made useful.
Open Government. Citizens expect transparency in government, not just with records and money, but with processes. Feedback and participation must be designed into decision-making rather than incorporated after the fact. Use of on-line social media must be balanced with off-line citizen engagements.
The challenges of open government extend into many areas which are a concern for all (such as open voting) but are not the responsibility of every branch or arm of government. The task for every government entity is to open all the machinery it has within its control.
Links to more extensive descriptions of these movements on Wikipedia are given below.
ConferencesThese conferences reflect the gathering momentum of the Open Government movement.
OpenGovWest, March 26-27, 2010, Seattle, Washington.
GOV 2.0, May 2010, Washington, DC.
The rise of Government 2.0 signals the emergence of IT innovation and the Web as a platform for fostering efficiencies within government and citizen participation. How can we harness these innovations to decrease waste and increase productivity?
A BookOpen Government / Collaboration, Transparency, and Participation in Practice. Published in February, 2010, by O'Reilly.
About: In a world where web services can make real-time data accessible to anyone, how can the government leverage this openness to improve its operations and increase citizen participation and awareness? Through a collection of essays and case studies, leading visionaries and practitioners both inside and outside of government share their ideas on how to achieve and direct this emerging world of online collaboration, transparency, and participation.
You can view the complete Table of Contents (Click to expand the 34 chapters and subsection titles!) as well as read the Chapters 1-8 on the O'Reilly site.
Obama AdministrationWe can expect the principles being implemented in Washington DC to 'come down' to the states and local government.
Open Government Directive, December 8, 2009.
Article about Portland Openness Source & Data transparency.
Other states have tried but been defeated by lobbyists.
It's an Open WorldThis is a global movement. South America, Canada, Europe, China, Southeast Asia, Australia, and parts of Africa all have open source, data, and government movements. Some countries have more or less open data and/or government, but all are embracing open source software. Example:
The European Open Source Observatory and Repository.
Open People and OrganizationsMitch Kapor, Philanthropist
Presented Thinking About "Government as a Platform", at Gov 2.0 Summit September 11, 2009. Here is an 8-minute YouTube Video worth watching. A Wikipedia page about Mitchell Kapor.
Andrew Hoppin, NY Senate CIO
Bill Welty, CIO California Air Resources Board
David Eaves, Open Activist
Douglas Schuler, Evergreen State College professor
Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the Web
Tim O'Reilly, publisher, philosopher
Code for America
Activities in the RegionThe region is home to many aspects of the open source movement, including Linus Torvalds who started it on fire with his implementation of "Linux" when he was a student in Helsinki in the early 1990's. Linus now lives in Dunthorpe. Open Source activities are all around the region, foundations, business incubators, etc.
City of Portland is holding a "Civic App Contest" to fund one project using publicly available data. The Canadian government just announced a similar contest for applications that will interpret climate change data for citizens.
OSCON, an international conference, considers Portland its home. The conference has grown in size over the years to use the Oregon Convention Center!
The Open Source Bridge conference was started when O'Reilly forsook Portland one year and held OSCON in California! The Bridge conference has taken on a life of its own, with a distinctive local flavor.
Open Data on Wikipedia.
Open Source Software on Wikipedia.
Compiled by John Miller, Portland, Oregon, March 2010.
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