Fear of change brought on by sudden onslaught of #gov20

My business partner and I were in meetings this week with a government agency dealing with sudden onslaught of “Gov 2.0.” Deja Vu. It came full blast this week from the year 2008. We might as well have been in an episode of the TV show “Fear Factor” as at some points fear was the major chasm to be crossed in the room.

Government 2.0 initiatives have been in full force since late 2009, early 2010. In 2008, however, the U.S. Government had not yet passed the Open Government Directive or the Joint Chiefs of Staff Open Source memo milestones. Officials were scared of change. Social media was a big angry beast that was not understood, not clearly developed in a government sense and something just to shy away from.

But we have moved to a point where major federal agencies not only have printed and published guidelines and existing working programs – but we are witnessing global cooperation on the Government 2.0 stage and collaboration is now fostering success. In late September of 2011 there will be a meeting of over 20 countries dedicated to Open Government and Government 2.0 around the globe. This is an exciting time for people like myself, advocating, pushing, pulling and even getting yelled at to accomplish change.

But still fear lingers, its wraith like fingers coming in the dead of night, or in the depth of a boardroom on a sunny day. Social media has its heroes and demons alike that is clear. But mobility, social connectivity and the desire for more transparency and openness create strange bedfellows. Just when an agency indicates a real need for Gov 2.0 – someone inevitably throws cold water. Sometimes freezing cold water, but still the movement continues, and the forward progression of the adoption of a new way of business for government continues uni-directionally.

My solution for fear based discussions about Gov 2.0? Look around. See all the successful implementations of open data, of social connectivity for Government and Citizens alike and see the results. It is not hard to find an example of government agencies adopting various parts of this big picture. Just ask your local fire department how they are using location based services. Or ask your local police department how they monitor social media for evidence of crimes. Look at the military using social media in offensive, defensive methods as well as for recruiting and publicity. Look at how the FBI regularly uses social media to tell the story about what they do. Look at the State Department’s continual innovations in new uses of mobility and social media. That is how your agency overcomes fear brought on by a sudden onslaught of Gov 2.0.

Brazil Govcamp shows continued Gov 2.0 Global Growth

Brazil “BrasilGov2.0” Govcamp shows the Global Growth of Gov 2.0 and Open Government
http://www.brasilgov2.com.br/

Governments and the people they serve around the world are struggling to adapt to a new reality of real time information, demands for openness and transparency and more efficient service delivery. There is tremendous enthusiasm and interest in the utilization of social media, mobile and open data tools to remake the term “Government” as we know it.

Until recently, the majority of Government 2.0 initiatives were undertaken in places like the United States, Britain, Australia, Germany and Japan to name the leaders. The continued blossoming of this movement is taking hold in many other countries too like Brazil. Coming soon to Sao Paulo, Brazil is the next part of the dialog continuum.

Some recent examples of Open Government, and Gov 2.0 initiatives in Brazil:
http://www.webcitizen.com.br/en/tag/gov-2-0-summit/

and

http://shareable.net/blog/city-budgeting-gov-20-a-match-made-in-heaven

and

my friend Michael Walsh had this to say about Plone use in Brazil in a recent blog on Govfresh.

More on Gov 2.0 in Brazil:
http://www.brasil.gov.br/sobre/science-and-technology/open-source-software/open-source-software/br_model1?set_language=en This is an example of how the Government of Brazil is using Open Source software and solutions as an early adopter of the Open Government movement. So this makes Microsoft’s involvement even more inclusive and shows the depth to which this global company is looking outside itself as part of the effort to bring Government 2.0 and E-government to a reality around the world.

Government 2.0 requires the input, participation of many parties – obviously governments, also the big and small companies that service them, and of course the people. As a result there have been many conferences and “camps” that have sprung up to address the educational and collaborative needs of this emerging industry.

Microsoft is sponsoring Govcamp Brazil this coming June 8, 2011 with the idea of creating an open learning environment for anyone interested in Gov 2.0 in Brazil. While the event does require registration, it is open to all, whether Microsoft devotees or open source advocates. In fact, Microsoft is actively seeking the participation of as broad a group as possible to facilitate a collaborative dialog and create a new level of understanding. This represents a major part of Gov 2.0 – openness.

Rodrigo Becerra of Microsoft provided this insight:

“We believe that local communities have the passion, skills and insight to drive Gov 2.0 and OpenGov efforts on their own and we simply want to be able to provide a platform upon which they can dig deep into these issues. This is a space for creating connections to happen between citizens, organizations, groups and governments that may otherwise not exist. We have done them in Berlin, Mexico City, Colombia, Moscow, Russia, Toronto, Sydney, Wellington, Boston, Lisbon and will sponsor the Brazil event in the coming month. We specifically have local organizing committees run each event. We conduct them all in local language and invite social media, competitors and partners to revel in the discourse to help drive the progress of the Gov 2.0 movement.”

As the founder of Gov20LA in Los Angeles, California, I am thrilled to see how far and fast the Gov 2.0 movement is growing around the World. It is really encouraging to see this transformative change happening in places not often thought of for progressive thinking with regard to Government.

In full disclosure: I am an adviser to the Brazil Govcamp and am very excited to see what develops in this first ever Gov 2.0 Camp in Brazil.

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

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