internet as seen through candles

Gov 2.0 Listening in 5 World Capitals.

Change is here. It is happening everywhere. I have been fortunate in the last few months to speak and also do a tremendous amount of listening and asking pertinent questions of minister level officials in 5 national capitals, on 4 continents. The pace of change in government use and implementation of social media, gov 2.0, open gov, egov and various other monikers is extremely rapid, in some countries it is breakneck.

But still the old bogeyman is hanging around. Fear. I have written about the role Fear plays in the gov 2.0 and open gov discussions around the world, but this recent world tour just confirms that fear is still the largest inhibitor to successful implementation of new plans, and actually stops some excellent programs right in their tracks. I have personally witnessed the role fear plays with minister level officials down to low level staffers as well as with political functionaries in multiple countries. I have been in meetings just this year where fear is so palpable in the room; that literally nothing gets done with the exception of voices being raised in anger or out of frustration.

That being said, there are also tremendous advances being made – both those that have been officially sanctioned and budgeted and those where courageous government workers are sticking their necks out to test, take chances and experiment. More and more it is less the top down movements and more the individual workers who are making the real changes. Because a shift in acceptance of a new role; of a new place in the workplace is well underway.

But besides fear, economic concerns are also hitting this movement, both positively and negatively. In USA budgetary crisis are causing ripples up and down the Gov 2.0 movement as it is called here. But at the same time the budget crisis globally is refocusing anew the issue of legacy system investment versus investment in new technologies that are often more cost effective and much more efficient.
So pretty soon we will be crossing the chasm of decision making from supporting older legacy systems and protocols with the need to be competitive on a data basis in an increasingly competitive and real time 24/7 world.

The time to make decisions about abandoning old legacy systems with a sunk investment versus the new-found results and applications available for cheaper alternatives is upon our society, and much like Y2K there is at least partially a ticking clock. This time it is how long will current systems last before not being able to operate in a new world?

In Europe which is also facing severe economic contractions, the funding for these programs is in fact increasing for now, but that may change if the EU financial situation continues to get worse. Additionally, certain European countries need to make a mind shift from cyber space equaling protection of assets versus cyber space being a multilateral space where protections of freedoms are just as important.

Australia is committing funding and new initiatives that will drive the adoption of these practices, including the NBN (national broadband network) which will effectively wire most of the continent to be able to implement egov and open gov quickly.

Canada is struggling with funding issues and a perceived innovation gap – but at the same time it actively encouraging the open gov coalition and just recently announced a new web standards policy and it is clear that there are some powerful ministers and ministries looking to adopt egov and open gov sooner than later.

The UK is getting ready to reveal its next new initiative “GovUK” currently in Alpha, getting ready to be launched in Beta, which will serve a government wide portal along the lines of Govusa, but with a much more direct call to action and a major change in how UK gov websites will be run and maintained in the near coming future.

Russia has a small but extremely active egov movement, and there are surprising strides coming out of Russia, including a gov 2.0 proponent now running for the Duma on an open gov platform. But given Russia’s history of top down management of its people and government, the egov movement in Russia struggles against the state dominated ownership and manipulation of both the media, and the infrastructure necessary to provide open gov, like ISP’s government maintained choking of internet access and the ability to shut off the internet from the people in a very dramatic fashion.

What I have learned mostly though, is that the breakneck pace of change that has been rattling the government and e-government spaces since 2008 is having real results globally. I will leave it to others to pick apart my statements or point to specific case studies. But reality is social, mobile, cloud are here and have forever changed how governments interact with themselves and with us.

As published on Silberberg Innovations

Media Advisory, Government 2.0 Camp: Los Angeles, Feb 6-7, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information: Alan W Silberberg, alan@you2gov.com, +1310-467-9687

FIRST WEST COAST GOV 2.0 CAMP INVITES NEW MEDIA PROFESSIONALS FROM AROUND GLOBE
Craig Newmark, Antonio Oftelie, Cory Ondrejka, Lewis Shepherd, Christine Lu, Brian Humphrey, and many others To Address Gov 2.0, New Media Leaders At Gov 2.0 Camp LA, “Gov20LA”

February 4, 2010—Los Angeles, California and Washington, DC–With the announcement of the Obama Administration’s recent Open Government Directive, government agencies are increasingly turning to Web 2.0 technologies to help achieve the Directive’s goals of creating a transparent, interactive government. Agencies at the every level of government are developing creative ways to harness the the Web’s ability to deliver information and services to citizens more effectively. And at the free Gov 2.0 Camp LA, held February 5-7, 2010, Gov 2.0 thought leaders will gather in Los Angeles to discuss ideas and innovative ways to make Gov 2.0 initiatives more accessible to the public.

IMPRESSIVE ROSTER OF SPEAKERS AND ATTENDEES
As the first West coast Government 2.0 un-camp, Gov 2.0 Camp LA is already attracting an impressive roster of speakers and attendees. Among other speakers, the camp will feature Craigslist founder Craig Newmark and Antonio Oftelie from Harvard University’s Leadership for a Networked World program. Government and new media leaders from local, state, and federal agencies, including the State Department, the USDA, the USGS, and the Port of San Diego have already registered to take part in the discussions. Attendees from the United Kingdom, Canada, and other countries are slated to attend and will be able to provide a unique perspective based on their Gov 2.0 experiences in their own nations.

“The camp will give people the unique opportunity to network and connect with other people who are facing and overcoming similar Gov 2.0 challenges,” said Alan W Silberberg, CEO, You2Gov and organizer of Gov20LA. “It’s this kind of in-person, hands-on interaction that leads to great ideas being born and pioneering projects getting the kick start they need. And one of the outcomes of the Camp that we’re most excited about is the creation of a Government 2.0 Community Road Map and a language standard—we’ll be working on these collaboratively during the Camp with the idea that they can be shared among government agencies and the public, and will help us reach Gov 2.0 goals more quickly and easily.”

GOV 2.0 CAMP LA’S THREE-FOLD GOAL
The goal of Gov 2.0 Camp LA is three-fold:
• Make the transformation of government known as “Gov 2.0” more accessible to the general public by improving and standardizing the language we use.
• Expand the implementation of Gov 2.0 by sharing practical advice, developing best practices, and solving common problems.
• Develop relationships and collaborative projects that persist beyond the Camp.

HYBRID CAMP LETS ATTENDEES DETERMINE SESSIONS
Gov 2.0 Camp LA is different because the format of the camp is a hybrid of a traditional conference and a Barcamp style “un-conference”. Half of the camp sessions will be generated by the community and voted on. The remaining half will be identified by the Planning Committee.

ABOUT GOV 2.0 CAMP LA
At the West Coast’s first Government 2.0 un-conference, taking place February 5-7, 2010, attendees shape the agenda. The Camp will occur at 5405 Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, California. The camp will bring together social media professionals from local, state and federal government agencies, foreign governments, and representatives from the nonprofit, education, communications, media, and entertainment industries to discuss how to use social media technologies to make government more accessible and open to the public. Gold sponsors of the camp include Microsoft, You2Gov, Rock Creek Strategic Marketing, Fiji Water, Internet E-Business, and BLANKSPACES. For more information, or to register for the conference, visit http://www.gov20la.org.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pywCjh7WoBo

###

You2Gov featured in 3rd Blog Article in less than 3 weeks!

Today a Canadian Blog, “The Social Bureaucrat” wrote a Blog article about You2Gov in part. This marks the Third Blog done as a result of Twitter about You2Gov in as many weeks. This is an exciting and challenging time for the U.S. and the World. It is fascinating to see the impact of something like You2Gov on Foreign Governments and on Foreigners who visit the site. Many simply cannot imagine something like You2Gov in their country, especially in Third World and non-Democracies.

Many people are astounded that You2Gov has done what we have in a short time period with a small amount of resources. But it points to the massive migration of Information onto the Interweb and dispersed through blogs, forums, rss feeds etc. We are able to provide the information we do, and connect your to your elected representatives at the State and Federal levels because of this migration of information. This is just the beginning, a garden sprinkler versus a firehose. As more information becomes available, more and more uses or “mash-ups” will become easier to accomplish quickly. Government Agencies in the United States are all “on the Internet” but are just now learning what to do there and how to make information become useful. We aggregate those sources and combine them with the action tools necessary to become a full power Citizen 2.0.

@Meznor Is a Canadian who is authored this blog piece, and everyone at You2Gov says thanks from below the Border!

http://socialbureaucrat.blogspot.com/2009/01/social-media-examples-connecting.html