You are here

Principles for Open Government in the Networked Society

We continue the Austrian focus at EDEM 2009 with Peter Parycek, one of the academics involved in the Austrian e-Democracy initiatives. He suggests that we're in the midst of a new media revolution towards a networked society,driven by digitisation, convergence, and the shift to many-to-many communication; this turns the Net into a social space, and changes our patterns of communication and organisation - the 2008 Obama campaign is a very good example for this.

In politics, advertising, and many other areas, word of mouth has become key in influencing public opinion - this is a shift from hierarchical to networked organisation, and the question now becomes whether we will be able to utilise these new patterns of the network society in government as well. An answer to this is provided by the emerging principles of open government:

  1. Transparency, achieved through effective information and communication - as for example in the new US initiative, which makes government data freely and openly available for members of the public to use and develop new information resources from, or recent Obama administration initiatives to run government blogs and set up a White House Facebook space;
  2. Participation and collaboration, which may operate on a number of models - the innovation mall (where the problem is clearly stated already, and put to the community to solve), the innovation community (where anyone can pose new problems to be solved by the community); examples for this include Innocentive, Dell's IdeaStorm, the PeerToPatent community patent review project, or the new US Open Government Dialogue site (which was unsuccessful, however);
  3. Be open for innovation - this means being open in terms of access and standards, designing for cooperation, learning from users (and hackers who try to extend the system beyond what it was designed to do!), and stimulating experimentation and partnerships;
  4. Think of government as a platform.

Technorati : , , , , , , , : , , , , , , ,


Thanks’ for the impressing summary of the speeches. We have uploaded all presentations to slideshare: It would be great if you could embed the slides.

On our blog you could also find summaries of the presentations and the workshops:

Regarding my speech I would like to contribute further information:
-, I recommend the speech of Tim O’Reilly

Unfortunately we didn't meet in Vienna - hope to see you in Krems 2010.

Thanks, Peter - enjoyed the conference!

I've now made those links active, too. Look forward to seeing what happens in Krems next year...