A Few Gov 2.0 Thoughts As We Greet 2011

I’m not big on resolutions, roundups and predictions, but I have been tweeting a bit about Gov 2.0 in 2011 and a great back and forth today with our movement’s scribe, Alex Howard, teased out a few of my thoughts in greater detail. My reflections for 2011 are more of a sentiment than any concrete analysis.

I’m very high on possibilities for the Gov 2.0 movement in 2011, and I don’t think I’m alone in my optimism. Many key advocates for a more responsive, transparent and effective government remain enthusiastic, and despite incredible challenges, we remain committed and hopeful and are enabled by more mature perspective and much more powerful networks than existed just two years ago.

When I first started thinking and writing about Gov 2.0 in 2008, I thought that most facets of American governance were broken. The difference today is that I’ve come to know many innovative and incredibly decent people of all political persuasions working on renewal. None of us are alone in seeing that the bureaucracy built up over time is not suited to the local and global challenges of today, and together we are strong. I am more convinced that ever of the power of social media to connect diverse stakeholders in our global society to bring encouragement and fresh ideas and productive collaboration.

In 2011, with U.S. local and state governments facing financial binds, I see Gov 2.0 here increasingly driven by citizens (including dedicated government employees acting in their citizen capacity) and focused on economic development and do-it-yourself government. Political leaders will be buoyed by their constituents and by ideas due.

Of the U.S., political economist Robert Reich recently lamented that two economic realities are steadily growing apart: the economy of Wall Street and large corporations and the economy of the average American worker. “At some point, perhaps, the disconnect between America’s two economies will become so big and so obvious it can no longer be ignored. Progressives, enlightened Tea Partiers, Independents, organized labor, minorities, and the young form a new progressive movement designed to reconnect America.”

This is one of the challenges of 2011 and, indeed, of my generation. We are the ones who will solve it.

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