Open Gov Community Summit

Consolidation and efficacy. These were the two themes running on and beneath the radar at the Open Gov Community Summit on Friday, bulding off of the acknowledgment that yes, Gov 2.0 and all of its principles are well and good, but they must maintain their forward momentum if they are to make a lasting impression.

The worries over a sophomore slump, a change in the congressional and executive bosses, all of these these are hopefully to be put to rest by a series of conferences, which began at the labyrinthine Crystal City.

As with any initiative, the Gov 2.0 movement is dispersed, lacking centralization by its very nature and from this, problems seem to have arisen and solutions were presented. Particularly in the brainstorming session led by Wayne Burke, several suggestions were put forth. A aggregation of case studies of successful instances of Gov 2.0 implementation, a means through which to provide a resource from which to draw inspiration, is an idea that was met with approval from the small offshoot group and subsequently from the audience as a whole. It’s not enough at this point to discuss how Gov 2.0 can help matters in the future, instead, let instances of proven success past and present be known.

Playing into this is the idea of negative inspiration, a “Keeping with the Jonses” mentality that is said to be creeping to Gov 2.0 movement, with organizations moving forward with their own initiatives because it seems as though everyone else is. No movement can make headway when it’s inspired by a fear of being left behind as opposed to being inspired to lead the way, and the need for case studies falls into this.

Along with this compiling of success comes a compilation of mind melding. Everyone has a ridiculously full calendar, one that is burdened not only by the events written upon it, but by the need to search around for further relevant events. Walk down a D.C. street at random long enough, and chances are you’ll eventually come across folks discussing Gov 2.0. Why not create a comprehensive resource from which to not only know which events are awaiting on the horizon, but which ones are worthwhile (and yes, to those with ulterior motives, have open bars)?

At the Knowledge Management discussion hosted by Alex Moll, the major point reached upon during the abbreviated time allotted was the need for a multiplicity of solutions. For all of the previous talk of consolidation, resolution is ultimately reached via a per-case basis, and ironically, its through the bringing together of examples of past successes, the aggregation of knowledge, that independent solutions can be created. Case in point, a flagship initiative being brought forward by a representative of the USDA which served as the focal point of a Cross Agency group, built upon the notion of providing an easier means through which customers can look at more in-depth information about particular products, one which by its various nature crosses across various technological and bureaucratic barriers.

The power the Gov 2.0 community can have in influencing such a project is immense. From wise constrictive criticisms, feedback and additional suggestions, any number of ideas can be deposited even prior to the introduction of the beta of such a initiative. Therein lies the chance to create a case study, therein lies the opportunity the chance to stand off of the pulpit preaching the gospel and go off an implement it. Much was mentioned of the average citizen’s lack of knowledge of the efficacy of government, and the government’s lack of knowledge of the efficiencies Gov 2.0 can bring about, but there’s a task that can be an example to both parties of just what government, newly-structured government, can do.

Build the momentum at the next OpenGov Community Summit, taking place at NASA’s headquarters on Oct. 13.

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