, , , ,

Gov20 L.A. – Agility for better government

I’m live-blogging today’s sessions at the Gov2.0 L.A. City Camp. Our twitter hashtag is #gov20la, and since I’m live-blogging this post is necessarily incomplete. Please check back next week for the edited version with more links, plus video, audio, etc.
Second Life Founder Cory Ondrejka is the lead-off speaker and riffing on the importance of agility in good government and good Government 2.0. He says it requires a certain fearlessness and an understanding that you can’t possibly know what you really want and can achieve at the beginning of a project.
Ondrejka starts with examples of institutional incompetence, including a slide showing that although yearly indices show a decades-long productivity gain, the measure of assets show a 75% decline in assets — including employees — over the last 40 years.
Ondrejka weaves an example of agile government through his conversation – U.S. Navy Lt. Matthew Maury, who in the 1850s compiled years of Captain’s ship logs to create a worldwide data-sharing project that resulted in better, safer sea-faring. Former President John Quincy Adams supported his efforts and endowed the Naval Observatory. 150 years ago, a worldwide open-data movement led by the US Navy and US government transformed naval routes and practices. Where is the US government going to lead now?
Some reasons why government is positioned for innovation and success, if they’ll go for it:
  • The first tool of government is data.
  • 2nd Tool of data: good regulation = standards
  • 3rd Tool of government – the bully pulpit
Quotes, lessons, best practices:
  • Institutional change is hard. Hard to lead fearlessly. Harder to follow fearlessly.
  • Will the government embrace user generated content?
  • Whenever possible, write less code, use more data.
  • Stop thinking of customers as customers; if you’re smart and innovative, they are your partners. Partners require different levels of trust, engagement, support, communication, etc.
  • Sharing data creates a network effect and high virality, granting your partners and users access to more and more data.
  • Failure is an important part of the successful experimental culture.
Moore’s Law is driving decreased costs and increased connectivity.

Leave a Comment

One Comment

Leave a Reply