Government

What open source can teach government officials

What open source can teach government officials

What started with a unanimous vote to adopt an open source resolution eventually became a long-term commitment to the open source way. How many of you have had an elected official attend a citizen-lead event? Probably some of you. But how many of you have had your entire city or town council attend an unconference?

At a recent open government unconference, all city council members—including the mayor of Raleigh, North Carolina—attended some or all of the event. Their attendance wasn't a requirement—and it wasn’t a political drive-by. It was genuine, natural. And some of them got knee-deep in the “code,” competing in the civic hackathon. » Read more

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How do we recycle hackathon code?

How do we reuse hackathon code?

With the sheer number of civic hackathons starting to reach a critical mass, some are asking whether the energy and drive embodied by these events can be directed to reusing existing applications or projects started at earlier events.

This is an important issue, as some projects worked on at civic hacking events aren’t actively pursued after the event is over. Is there an opportunity to better focus the energy and talents of civic hackers to reuse existing applications, or to take the work from previous hackathons further? » Read more

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The merits of failing faster

Fail faster

Promoting a culture that supports failure is a foreign concept to most people, but not for the panelists speaking about open government and business at CityCamp Raleigh. According to the panelists, who range from vice presidents of corporations to chief information officers of Raleigh government, there is a general consensus that failing faster provides a quicker path to innovation. » Read more

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GovHack, GovCamp, GovJam aim to advance Gov 2.0 in Australia

GovHack, GovCamp, GovJam aim to advance Gov 2.0 in Australia

Not one, but three upcoming events will bring more open government to Australia over the course of a week. GovHack, GovCamp, and GovJam will collectively allow citizens to interact with the public sector to collaborate, innovate, and share--advancing Gov 2.0 by using government data in new ways. » Read more

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CityCamp Raleigh sets up for year two this weekend, $5000 prize

CityCamp Raleigh

Last year, CityCamp Raleigh raised the bar on the city’s adoption of open sourced solutions and helped bring citizens to the problem solving table. This weekend, the gang behind the event are hosting it again with the same $5000 prize for the best idea and solution. » Read more

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A look inside Code for America

A look inside Code for America

Last week while I was in San Francisco for the Open Source Business Conference I stopped by to visit  Code for America. I arranged some office time a few weeks ago when I was planning my travel. This wasn’t just another office tour; this is where web geeks, city experts, and technology industry leaders are making a difference. This is where civic ideas are transformed from sticky notes and whiteboards to code. » Read more

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Innovation and collaboration stifled in red tape

Innovation and collaboration stifled in red tape

It is hard to think of any environment as conducive to innovation as the Internet. With a good idea and the motivation to follow it through, anything is possible. Look at Wikipedia, the Google search engine, and Facebook, to name just a few success stories.

Behind them are thousands of less famous web-based innovations that are also having a huge impact on society. These include many thousands of small firms and individual web developers based in Europe.

Collaboration is vital. Technologies do not emerge out of the blue. They are built on innovations by others – building-block technologies that are offered up as industry standards. » Read more

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What innovations can change America’s voting rates?

What innovations can change America’s voting rates?

People often ask me about various innovative efforts to change America’s voting rates, habits, or options. There is a ton of interesting experimentation happening here, from TurboVote to ElectNext to Americans Elect. I haven’t dug in deeply to any of these projects, but it’s clear they are offering some new thinking to a deep and important problem. » Read more

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Does hosting an innovation summit mean you're innovative?

Does hosting an innovation summit mean you're innovative?

Last January, the City of Raleigh partnered with the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, North Carolina State University, and local businesses to host the inaugural Innovation Summit. The purpose of the summit was to bring business leaders, entrepreneurs, marketers, investors, city officials, and thought leaders together for an afternoon of discovery. Open source was at the heart of how the organizers were looking to achieve consensus from those invited to participate.

There were four main topics organizers focused on to kick off this initiative: funding, partnerships, branding, and space for an innovation center. The summit started with two keynote speakers that helped set the stage for the day. » Read more

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Mainstreaming the Gov 2.0 message in the Canadian Public Service

Mainstreaming the Gov 2.0 message in the Canadian Public Service

A couple of years ago I wrote a Globe Op-Ed "A Click Heard Across the Public Service" that outlined the significance of the clerk using GCPEDIA to communicate with public servants. It was a message - or even more importantly - an action to affirm his commitment to change how government works. For those unfamiliar, the Clerk of the Privy Council is the head of the public service for the federal government, a crude analogy would be he is the CEO and the Prime Minister is the Chairman (yes, I know that analogy is going to get me in trouble with people...) » Read more

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