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Gov 2.0 ≠ Open Government


Gov 2.0 ≠ Open Government

Open Government is bigger than Gov 2.0.

It's time to unpack the open government directive and the role of Gov 2.0 in the mix. If we don't we are missing the point.

Members: 47
Latest Activity: Jan 2, 2013


Open Government embraces Gov 2.0, but is a bigger concept.  So far, Gov 2.0 has focused on technology, data and transparency.  All important, exciting and necessary. Open Source, public access, public engagement and organizing data, to get better information and results, are critical elements to our democracy. 

However important the Gov 2.0 focus is to us, it doesn't address our need for organizational change, capacity building, public sector innovation, experimentation, leadership, action, new norms and culture, collaboration, the redundancy of funding, and duplication of effort, to name a few core concepts.

Truly actualizing "Open Government" is very hard, public sector innovation is very challenging in an environment not hospitable to change.  Innovation is a word easily tossed around.  What it means in government, a system resistant to change, is an open question.

We have a lot to learn and think about together.  I think it's to our advantage to think big and openly, about all the aspects of the picture, and not limit ourselves to what might seem easier or more obvious.


Discussion Forum

Have you seen the Cloud Computing Best Practices Guide for building Government Community Clouds

Started by Mark Forman Aug 16, 2011. 0 Replies

What do you think?  A tool for improving government by adopting shared services and transparency?…Continue

Tags: government, reform, canada, computing, 2.0

Am I on,or off, the mark in your opinion?

Started by John Moore. Last reply by Mark Forman May 2, 2011. 2 Replies

My first article for went live today.  I think it's in-line with the title of this group, thoughts? …Continue

New Yorker Article - Annals of Innovation Small Change Why the revolution will not be tweeted. By Malcolm Gladwell

Started by Andrea Schneider. Last reply by Andrea Schneider Oct 15, 2010. 3 Replies

Here is the article from The New Yorker by Malcolm Gladwell.  The timing is perfect and he lays out…Continue

Tags: Article, Yorker, New

Requested Blog by Major Org in Transparency - Why?

Started by Andrea Schneider Oct 1, 2010. 0 Replies

Gov. 2.0 ≠ Open Government DirectiveBackgroundI love the Open Government Directive. It has ignited my imagination and provided a long needed platform for transparency, collaboration, participation…Continue

Tags: sustainability, challenge, 2.0, gov, government

Comment Wall


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Comment by Steve Cottle on June 12, 2012 at 10:23am

Steve is at the Personal Democracy Forum and recaps a panel on the "Cutting Edge of Open Government":

Comment by Steve Cottle on May 23, 2012 at 8:54am

Check out the 5 lessons Steve Ressler took away from an IT conference with open gov focus in Italy:

Comment by Steve Cottle on April 26, 2012 at 12:09pm

Is creating an agency to enforce open government the way to go, or is it adding a new layer of bureaucracy?

Comment by Andrea Schneider on April 19, 2012 at 4:41pm

Pew Research recently published a report stating that 1 in 5 adults do not use the internet.  This is a striking statistic given how much emphasis is placed on technology, as the innovation for civic participation and public sector change, in the United States.  What implications does this have going forward?  

I continue to be struck by how the broad, original OGD has been distilled to the point it's hard to distinguish between Gov 2.0 and Open Gov.  Is there a difference anymore?

Don't get me wrong.  I think our strides in civic technology is awesome, I just don't think it's the whole picture and know we are behind the rest of the world in setting a more ambitious innovation agenda.  I do have it on good authority that the White House, with Todd Parks at the helm, is going to set a much more comprehensive agenda for public sector innovation.  Very happy to hear that news.  We  have a lot of very difficult work ahead of us.  

How can we make the hard stuff as attractive, fun, sexy and cool as building more apps and websites?  What are the many ways these new technologies can help us re-design organizational systems, encourage risk-taking, new and sustainable strategies of change?  How can we help leaders take a chance with new ideas, "think differently" in this very challenging public environment?

I think we are playing it safe.

Comment by Steve Cottle on April 10, 2012 at 12:11pm

Check out Paul's recap of a new report on principles for open government:

Comment by Andrea Schneider on August 16, 2011 at 1:01pm

Good point, especially when big contracts with high expectations are in play.  Wouldn't be surprised to see that dollar spent many times over for lack of clarity on purpose and goals.  

Several questions occur to me:  What do we mean by public participation? What and who are we talking about?  Is it the same for every website?  

I was impressed the other day with the FBI app for missing children.  Made all the news and it was clear why it would be useful to a lot of people.  


If the innovation agenda is primarily focused on technology, data, transparency and accountability types of activity, doesn't that limit who gets involved, who cares and sees themselves in the picture? Perhaps creating an insider, self-selecting group of drivers, however innovative?  

I think public sector innovation is much broader and inclusive.  Creating cross-discipline teams using all parts of the whole.



Comment by Mark Forman on August 15, 2011 at 5:20pm


you have great insights.  I think you are right...they see innovative technology and don't understand that we need need innovation to improve results.  We need better management, not just new technologies. 

Comment by Andrea Schneider on August 15, 2011 at 5:16pm

Good point David and I agree we can save time and money with good web technology.  I don't think this is a mutually exclusive agenda at all.  In fact, I advocate for the bigger view.

I don think we need to make sure the public understands how these dollars are being spent and how it's of benefit.  These messages often have to be sent over and over again.

I just don't want to lose the opportunity to be seriously innovative and creative.  Sometimes when things are really tough, we get our best thinking and ideas.  

For example, I am interested in re-designing our grant making system, internally and with grantees.  Not cool or sexy, but could not only increase our results for dollars spent, but actually save us a ton of money.  Having been inside that system in so many ways, it seems clear to me it's just waiting for us to work on.

Comment by Andrea Schneider on August 15, 2011 at 5:08pm

It seems like there are at least two different things going on and needing attention. One, is the need to make sure there is a match between the technology being designed and used by various groups.  

Two, is a somewhat separate agenda to look at re-designing actual systems, agencies and practices, using technology as a tool, let's say crowd-sourcing, but it's ancillary to the task.  

The United States has clearly focused on all the various ways to use technology, data, applications, etc.  It's a different conversation then looking at how we collaborate, use resources, including money, analyzing to streamline and simplify complexity for people and on and on.

I'm guessing the reason for such a big focus on tech has to do with the direction the White House has taken the directive.  Simple really, they are technology people, not organizational design, change, systems, people staff.

Early on there was excitement for a broader agenda and a lot of ideas, but it's gotten somewhat lost. The leadership didn't seem that interested in innovation outside of IT, websites, data, etc.  So that's what we have...

Comment by David Fletcher on August 15, 2011 at 5:03pm

"Getting better websites is nice, but a limited view of a more compelling innovation agenda."

I couldn't agree more. Or when I hear someone say they're innovating by including some social media in their portfolio... no, that's not innovation, it's just adopting someone else's innovation at a time when it makes sense to do so.  Still, when we create a new online service that makes it easier for a citizen to get something done quicker and easier, that can have a real payback. It may even save people time... maybe even a lot of time, creating a resource that can be used for further innovation.  Hopefully, what we do on the web has an increasingly stronger correlation to what we do in government in a more general way as you suggest.


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