What are Your Top Ideas for Gov Panels or People at SXSW 2011?

Originally posted at http://andrewpwilson.posterous.com/what-are-your-top-ideas-for-gov-panels-or-peo.

Having just returned from my 2nd SXSW, I am going through the same process as many people who were there – trying to figure out what it all meant for me. I was able to achieve most of what I set out to accomplish but, no surprise, the event also raised new questions and spawned new ideas. For me, one of the best parts of the conference was to see a much more significant presence from the #gov20 community at the event. The panels included In Code We Trust: Open Government Awesomeness, Should the Government Tweet? and When Swine Flew: Embracing Innovation in H1N1 Response. However, even with the #gov20 community enlarging its footprint this year, there is still much work to be done. With this in mind and with the goal of getting greater visibility for the best and brightest #gov20 minds and ideas at next year’s conference, I have set up a platform to solicit suggestions to help inform the planning process for SXSW 2011. Please spread the word, add some ideas and vote: Top Ideas for Gov Panels or People at SXSW 2011.

Also, I am putting a call out to everyone from the #gov20 community (fed/ state/ local) who attended this year’s event to do a guest blog post on what SXSW meant for them and, in particular, what concrete ideas or tools they think they may be able to implement (or if you didn’t find the experience useful or worthwhile – why not?). If you are interested, please reach out to me on twitter or at mamadouthiam at gmail dot com.

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Too much travel so I missed SXSW this year.

I think there are still lots of people who haven’t heard about gov20 but would be interested. So maybe a session on Selling Gov 2.0 to Citizens. Selling Gov 2.0 Internally. Selling Gov 2.0 to SXSW techies…

Andrew Wilson


I have been a little surprised by the relative lack of attention to the post (both here and on my own blog). Something that I consistently forget is that many people, even those who are very familiar with social media, are not aware of SXSW (just as many people have not heard of Gov20). And so I agree that it might be a good idea to back up a few steps and think more broadly about the point I was trying to make – what value is there is government interacting with the broader industries of which they are apart. In this particular case, why should gov want/ need to try to become a part of the broader tech/ social media community.

I have some thoughts on this but will think a little more critically before I put something down.

Thanks for you support on this though 🙂


I agree. I think what’s cool is there is an increasing amount of choice and options so its much easier to collaborate and connect with diverse groups (like gov to broader tech/soc media) than before. But trick is so many options and groups how do you decide where to invest vs others. Maybe that’s the key question…ROI.

Garry Cronan

I am based in Geneva, Switzerland so, did not attend SXSW. What would be of interest to me is to know how Gov 2.0 activities are being felt at international level, particularly in terms of policy changes. Any thoughts?

Sterling Whitehead

A panel based around Steve Davies’ post called Gov 3.0 – Engagement in the Year 2030 would be amazing. Right now, we have a short-term plan for Gov 2.0 (transparency, collaboration and engagement). However, a long-term plan revolving around Gov 3.0 would be helpful to the Movement.

Particularly intruiging will be the cooperation of public servants in different countries through non-diplomatic channels (i.e. social media, etc.).

Firoze Lafeer

Andrew, I think a lot of us are still recovering from SXSW10! 🙂

So, next year I would like to see a discussion of concrete steps taken this year in accessibility of Gov2.0 and OpenGov features, including ideas that reach across the digital divide. Things like allowing conversations and community to cross between online and SMS and voice and field work.

It would also be really interesting to see a bit of retrospective on opengov apis versus data dumps versus open source and how effective one is versus the others. How are governments sharing and re-using standards and code? By next March hopefully there will be more Open311 type initiatives to share and learn from.

Another interesting one would be how the government should navigate the mobile world. Which platforms? What services? Should the gov’t as a policy just open APIs and let private companies build apps or does the govt have a role there? If so, which platforms? Do services have to be consistent across platforms (lowest common denominator?)? This would be an interesting panel with people who run mobile app programs inside governments versus private developers who use gov’t APIs to build apps.

Andrew Wilson

@Garry – great question about international. I know there are many different countries working in this area and have the opportunity to meet several delegations, Holland and Singapore, using social media. I also know that our own state department uses it considerably and has done some groundbreaking work in the area of public engagement. If you are interested, there is an individual on Twitter, @lovisatalk, who I recommend following as she is one of the real leaders in the field. The one area where I don’t think much has been done is on cross-government collaboration. This is an area where there is still probably much work to be done – love to hear anything you are up to.

@Sterling. Wow, thanks for the tip on the blog post – much appreciated. Any chance I can get you to post your idea to http://sxswgov.uservoice.com/forums/46639-general?

@Fiorze This is fantastic stuff. The digital divide (or looking to connect to undeserved communities) is something that I am very interested in and deserves much more consideration. I always say that social media/ new media is part of the solution but not the entire solution. As for APIs, I really feel that is a big part of the future but, unfortunately, also one of the areas really lacking right now. PLEASE consider adding your ideas to http://sxswgov.uservoice.com/forums/46639-general.

Thank you everyone!