"At its best, innovation is more than a team sport - it is a networked, collaborative adventure." (ideo.com)
Are you interested in the practical application of social networking? What happens when we move the ideas from theory into practice?
A Work in Progress
October 17, 2010 at 10:26 pm #112950
This is a long comment for which I apologize in advance and would love some discussion on...
I invite you all to read this article Towards a New Civic Ecology: Addressing the Grand Challenges. How do you think this article relates to the broader Open Gov challenges?
As a systems thinker, I am more convinced than ever, our use of social media and social networking, has to be embedded in a larger framework, to be understood and used frequently by different constituent groups.
As I attend various online and offline conferences, I am struck by the emphasis on "data" as central to the implementation of Open Government. It's occurred to me that I may not understand what the use of the word 'data' really means, or don't understand why we are relying so much on data to transform our public institutions.
I definitely see the utility of have great data, however, remain unconvinced that having data/information changes behavior. (think about smoking, drinking and driving, seat belts, obesity...) In fact, I have found no evidence, that information, by itself, changes behavior, at the individual or societal level. Even if we up the stakes to good education on a topic, it does not equate to changes in desired behaviors.
The use of social media and networking has to relate to something people care about and want to know about for it to be relevant. There is no question we need to be integrating social networking into a grander plan, for the actual implementation of Open Gov, into already existing federal programs.
I've been working recently on a plan to comprehensively re-tool our federal grant making system. I've picked that arena because so much of the federal allocation to states and local communities flows through the grant making process. And, it is an area I know a lot about from all sides of the equation. I can imagine exactly where I would start, with a team, to fully embed the system with OG principles of practice, regardless of the grant discipline.
I'm in the process of writing this simple and logical idea up to address both the private world of philanthropy and public sector federal grant making processes. (wouldn't it be amazing if the world of philanthropy connected deeply with our public sector resources)? I want to demonstrate how it would look, walk and talk like a duck, creating an integrated action approach we can evaluate, learn from and improve from actual experience and practice.
Everyday I'm learning about new online companies developing tools for civic participation, transparency with data and social media. At some point we may need to create a great resource list of the new technology which works best to meet different needs. This arena changes almost every day and innovating constantly.
My interest is to deploy the best of these online tools, within the context of actual existing processes and programs. I think most of these systems need strong, systemic revision. In this emerging plan, I would include the surrounding training and technical assistance programs, which often go with any significant federal grant program.
I've been lucky to attend some online Open Gov meetings, like the Open Gov Summit Lucas facilitated last week and this past Saturday, CityCampSF, which was live for me and got to attend in person. Through these terrific meetings, I'm taking more risks with my ideas and getting excellent feedback. Interacting this way is giving me more confidence in my expertise and helping me collaborate with other interested people and groups.
Ultimately, I want to put together an action focused "swat team" type lab of strategic, operational and tactical experts, in different areas, so together we make an amazing "whole". We could work in an intermediary style, always bringing the best we can to the "experiment" in action.
As an action/outcome based professional, I am getting informed enough to trust an applied setting demonstration of Open Gov in Action. I'm confident enough we could perform failure analysis, as we also look at our wins, expected and unexpected. I know every good product has gone through many stages of development before it's ready for prime time.
As I'm developing the practical side of these ideas, I am going to float the idea that Congress allocates tremendous amounts of money, according to discipline/silos, rather than according to the issue needing solutions. I'm taking a chance and suggesting we could save a lot of money by addressing the Legislative Branch, as we concurrently address the Executive Branch agencies. From my perspective, we could be much more fiscally responsible by merging common "cause" programs as we design for more efficient government through Gov 2.0 and the Open Gov principles of practice.
Although all of this requires much more conversation and discussion, the time is good, innovation thrives on necessity and we are in a big struggle for change which makes a difference.
Do you think we are being as honest as we can as we move the conversation forward?
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