New 2 Gov: Gov 2.0 What’s the Final Frontier?

So I took last week off on the blogosphere but I’m back in action this week. Lately I’ve been seeing a ton of tweets about Citizen 2.0 and also had a few conversations about where Gov 2.0 is and where it’s going and of course what it needs to get there.

Most of the time in these discussions I try to just sit there and nod my head absorbing everything up like a sponge but now it’s time to ring me out.

Gov 2.0 just like anything else that’s never been done before is growing into unknown territory. Yes, of course we have a goal: making government awesome but we really have no idea what is going to happen as we step towards that goal. It kind of reminds me of Star Trek where they say “space the final frontier”. Just sub in Ressler for Jean-Luc Picard (Andy K already looks enough like William T Riker so no need for a photoshop).

So there’s three main directions that I’ve picked up about where Gov 2.0 is heading.

1) People see it moving more and more tech based and just becoming a sub movement of the social and mobile boom that we are in midst of.

I think the thing here is that tech is a necessity of gov 2.0 but is really not the bread and butter. Yes making cool tech apps that capitalize on gov2.0 principals and getting them out there is cool but it doesn’t accomplish the full purpose. Plus eventually the tech industry will move on to something “cooler” than government then what are we left with?

To put this is Star Trek terms yes Geordi LaForge is making a cool new hyper drive for the USS Enterprise but only the other engineers care.

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2) People see it moving into the masses with a whole citizen 2.0 movement.

First off left me preface this: I want to see citizens more involved and really holding government accountable and pushing transparency further and further BUT if you think people who haven’t really turned out to vote at more than a 50 percent clip in the last 50 years are just going to up and change you’re crazy.

Can we make citizens more involved: YES but let’s not be delusional about it.

Star Trek terms: Yes Worf is a super cool Klingon who is totally down to make Star Fleet better but we’ve got a better shot getting Data to show emotion than we do getting ALL Kligon’s on the same page as Worf.

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3) People see it moving into a steady base that is supported in the academic world.

This is probably the slowest yet safest choice. Talking with Lucas Cioffi at Tuesday’s GovUp in DC that things that end up getting long term support usually come from academia where they are ingrained in students for a long long time. I know it might take a generation but the Next Generation will really be what carries Gov2.0 to “where no man has gone before”. Seriously though it’s easier to shape a generation that will be ready for directions 1 and 2 then it is to make an already established generation adapt. Not saying we should stop pushing Gov 2.0 now but it’s continued success and movement forward will come from forging a partnership with academia for the future.

Star Trek terms: Would Wesley Crusher have ever ended up in Star Fleet if he didn’t learn about how awesome it was in school? Don’t think so.

Maybe I’ve got it all wrong… who knows. So where do you think gov2.0 is head and what’s it’s final frontier?

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Michael A. Miller

Wesley Crusher is the guy who would put Geordi LaForge’s hyper-drive innovations into wider usage when he eventually becomes Senior Executive Ser…I mean, Star Fleet Sector Admiral.

Just sayin’.

Andrew Krzmarzick

First off, there needs to be a group for Trekkies/Govies as evidenced by Michael’s response. Then again, the Geeks in Government group has been known to incorporate Star Trek into its convos…so maybe you could just morph into Worf stuff there.

Speaking of morphing, I think the Next Generation of Government is less about technology and more about overall culture change…

Third, I LOL’d at Reagan National Airport when I saw the Jean-Luc Picard reference…too funny.

Avatar photo Bill Brantley

@Stephen – Totally agree with all points but especially Point Three. I wrote something similar a month ago:

“1) Locate and relentlessly promote early successes in Gov 2.0. Write up case studies and share lessons learned as widely as possible. GovLoop does a great job with this but Gov 2.0 practitioners should seek out as many channels and opportunities as possible to tell the story of Gov 2.0.
2) Include academics in Gov 2.0 projects. At the very least, let public administration researchers know about your projects. Include researchers in the planning (even if they are just observers). And think about ways to generate empirical data such as surveys, interviews, etc.
3) A major research trend in public administration theory is the renewed study of administrative limits. Governments are cash-strapped while citizens expect more services (Hood, 2010). When describing the benefits of Gov 2.0 projects, demonstrate how the project addresses these limits. Again, what empirical data was generated that proves the project alleviated one or more administrative limit?”

And allow me a shameless plug for the Scholar Practitioner group.