Saturday, 6 June 2009

Taking Government 2.0 to Sydney (BarCampSydney#5, Us Now Sydney and the NSW KM Forum)

On the 22nd June, Sen. Kate Lundy kicks off a Public Sphere event in Canberra that for me is going to be a fortnight or so of Government 2.0 related events in my part of the world. Quite deliberately I’ve been championing a few ideas to bring that Public Sphere conversation in Canberra to Sydney - as result a few events are forming up that should give us that opportunity:

Part of my reason for wanting to bring this Government 2.0 conversation to Sydney is so that people outside of the Federal government sector, such as those working at NSW state and local government level, the local not-profit-sector and other public institutions, can also be involved.

I think its worth explaining a bit about BarCampSydney#5, as we are really piggy backing on the (un)organising efforts of the BarCampSydney crew. However the timing with this next BarCampSydney and the Canberra PublicSphere is too good an opportunity to miss out on! So a big thank you to BarCampSydney for incorporating us into their planning.

This BarCampSydney is also being tagged as the Recession Edition or “the BarCamp we had to have”... a really relevant topic for Government 2.0, as government and other community organisations are both being expected to engage more, but in the current financial environment they need to do more with less. Practicing what we preach, coming together at a BarCamp is a great way to share knowledge and brainstorm solutions.

So, sign up for BarCampSydney#5 and let me know who you are so we make sure we get everyone who wants to talk about Gov 2.0 together on the day. You can introduce yourself here in the comments or join one of the networks for the Aussie Gov 2.0 community (Gov2.0Australia discussion, the Australian community on GovLoop and the Gov2.0Australia Ning group) and say hello there.

BTW If you’re in Australia but can’t make it to any of the Gov 2.0 related events in Canberra or Sydney, why not consider hosting a meet up or something similar yourself? One easy ideas is to simply download the Us Now documentary (or order the DVD version online if you want to project it on to a big screen) and get some people together to discuss!

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1 comment:

  1. The idea of 'Gov 2.0', 'eGov', etc is all very well but the limitation is the current technical architectures that unpin government globally - if this is not addressed it is just lip service.
    With current architectures based on technology that is way past its use by date that you could really consider collaboration on the scale suggested. We actually need a new application development eco-system to build a whole new class of applications. I have consulted in government departments and the answer to all information needs is always SAP, Oracle, SharePoint (SharePoint is no more than a glorified spreadsheet – with no workflow, an inability to implement or managed information policies on an enterprise or government wide basis, no understanding of artifacts, workflow, lifecycle, or the context and value of the information to end users), or some such piece of antiquated rubbish and these are technologies that represent the end of a generation of IT development – not the beginning. We also need to consider the role ‘intelligence’ plays in terms of helping humans understand and be aware of information that is contextually relevant to them – to address and manage the ‘wicked’ world.
    The back office functions of government are poorly serviced by the above technologies and front office services are not supported at all. Front office services are generally be-spoke and highly expensive builds – tax, welfare, etc. What we need is a new eco-system that auto generates applications without the need for humans to be involved in the development process and is built to serve a specific design.
    Application Generators (using Open Source components – the LAMP environment for instance) are required to build integrated ‘commerce value chains’ that truly represent processes that cross government, business and the citizen. For instance why should each government department have its own financial, procurement, HR system, etc, or why should a patient record be created multiple times – it should only exist once (the current ICT mess is a massive cost to society). It would make sense to run these services from a shared ‘utility’ that is analogous to a phone or electrical power grid.
    Additionally, these new types of applications should be owned by the State and not owned by application vendors. The technology to build these applications exists today – building them is not the challenge. The challenge is vested interests within government and the incumbency of the application vendors and SI consultants that extract fees to keep the whole creaky and costly edifice going. That is where Gov 2.0 will flounder – the concept is good but the underpinning ICT system will not support it. I have put together a paper based around this called ‘Transformational Government’ because the status quo needs to be challenged. I can be contacted at –


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