Joining the Canadian Government’s Advisory Panel on Open Government

Some people have already noticed, so wanted to share the news here as well. Yesterday, the Canadian Government announced the Advisory Panel on Open Government to which I was asked to join.

The purpose of the panel is to serve as a challenge function to the government as it developers its ideas and policies – so I see my role as that of pushing the government on where I believe they could be doing more. Obviously, I’ve always been interested in people’s thoughts, hopes and concerns around Open Government (and many of you have been keen to share them with me), my hope is that this will provide another way to inject these ideas into the government’s planning.

As I make suggestions and recommendations I will attempt to blog about them here, there were, indeed, a number I made yesterday during the first Advisory Panel’s meeting, that I hope to write up as I think they will be helpful to other governments as well.

For those who are curious about who else is on the panel, it is chaired by Minister Clement and I’m joined by a number of other excellent outside of government voices (full list of names and bios here as well), in this list I’ve tried to include twitter handles below where ever possible:

Bernard Courtois, Past President & CEO, Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC)

Robert Herjavec, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, The Herjavec Group

Alexander B. Howard, Government 2.0 Correspondent, O’Reilly Media

Thomas ‘Tom’ Jenkins, Head of the Canadian Digital Media Network and Executive Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer, OpenText Corporation

Vivek Kundra, Executive Vice President of Emerging Markets,

Herb Lainchbury, Chief Technology Officer, MD Databank Corp.

Colin McKay, Public Policy Manager (Canada), Google

Toby Mendel, Executive Director, Centre for Law and Democracy

Alex Miller, President and Founder, ESRI Canada

Marie-Lucie Morin, Executive Director for Canada, Ireland and the Caribbean, The World Bank

Dr. Rufus Pollock, Co-Founder and Director, Open Knowledge Foundation

Dr. Teresa Scassa, Vice-Dean of Research and Professor of Law, University of Ottawa

As an off topic aside, the first meeting too place using Cisco’s telepresence technology. This essentially is fancy videoconferencing where all the rooms around are virtually identical so that it feels like people are sitting around the same table. It was the first time I’ve tried using it and I was duly impressed. It did mean that the government didn’t have to fly us in from all around the world to meet face to face – a real cost savings and obviously, good for emissions as well.

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