Enabling Open Government

In June, I made a presentation to the Government SIG of the Chesapeake Bay Organization Development Network. Sunny Hester, who is the SIG Chair, recently created a Government OD Network group.

The topic of my presentation was Enabling Open Government, which covered several topics, including a final section which I hope will generate a conversation about how Web 2.0 will impact one of our Founders’ primary principles: the separation of powers among three equal branches of government.

For the core of my presentation, I chose to focus on my personal experiences with three methods/mindsets and technologies which have contributed significantly to my current worldview, and which help to provide me context as we plunge into the overwhelming choices of Web 2.0 technologies. The key relationship between methods and technologies has been best articulated by Douglas Engelbart. For those who don’t know about him, he’s the pioneer of interactive computing, and one of the slides in my presentation links to the 40th Anniversary of “The Demo”, which on December 9, 1968 debuted split-screen video conferencing among 19 other firsts, with the most acclaimed being the mouse, for which Doug holds the patent.

Doug’s vision has four major components, best summarized by his daughter Christina in her presentation at Stanford:

raising collective intelligence,
the bootstrapping strategy,
co-evolving human and tool systems, and
networked improvement communities (NICs).

NICs are communities which strive to improve the improvement process for a particular sector of society.

All of the above are links in my presentation, either explicit hyperlinks or linked with pictures when you run the presentation in Show Mode (F5 in PowerPoint). The presentation can be downloaded from my LinkedIn profile,

I will be expanding on the ideas in the presentation in a blog I’ll be launching later this month, which will also be one of my websites on my LinkedIn profile.

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Karl Hebenstreit

Wayne –
The New Media Consortium is leading an incredibly active Networked Improvement Community in education. They made a presentation at the Program for the Future, for which there’s a video clip. The Doug Engelbart Institute site is the best source for Doug’s ideas, such as Networked Improvement Communities

The Collaborative Expedition workshops organized by Susan Turnbull are a Government NIC. Being able to work for Susan is the reason I transferred to GSA from the Department of Education back in May 1998.