The DG INFSO organisation last week arranged a very interesting seminar focusing on the impact of web 2.0 in Government, in particular trying to bring the attendance to the top European politicians to the impact that the new 2.0 technologies could bring to the table.
The main organizers behind the event, led by David Osimo, clearly expressed that their objective is to use web 2.0 as a tool to formulate and expand Europe’s next ICT-strategy and in this way for the first time have the user community engaged in formulating the ‘post i2010’ strategy.
The formal kick off for the revision of the current i2010 strategy will take place in Malmö,
The morning session contained a number of ‘grass root projects’ – typically NGO’s, private persons or small organizations that had developed web 2.0 sites and/or tools to solve specific societal issues: Jack Thurston demonstrated a transparency project on farm subsidies in Europe – Farmsubsidy - as the first results indicated an enormous skew in the sense that all the big land owners obtained the majority of all funds available. David Price, founder of Debategraph, showed an interesting graphical WiKi-tool useful in many public debates.
A very inspiring presentation was made by Emma Mulqueeny – Rewired State – showing a ‘hacker competition’ in
The results was amazing, the top solutions awarded was a complete re-write of the public sectors’ job search solution (Job Centre Pro Plus ) and a site called Fix My Site , where users can suggest changes in public sector web sites to make them easier to use.
James Munro is a director of PatientOpinion by now a sort of icon in the public 2.0 area, originally received a lot of critical statements from the National health Services in
OnRoadMedia is an extremely interesting project aiming at providing social media solutions to educate and train marginalized youngsters, street children, immigrants and homeless. This is a true demonstration on the real value of web 2.0.
Simon Hampton from Google Europe presented an interesting project linking public transportation time tables across
During the lunch break a new movie on the value of web 2.0 and crowd sourcing was shown.
To quote from the film Us Now:
“In a world in which information is like air, what happens to power?
New technologies and a closely related culture of collaboration present radical new models of social organisation. This project brings together leading practitioners and thinkers in this field and asks them to determine the opportunity for government.
This website features all material being created during the making of the film.”
Afternoon session started with a block focusing on experiences with projects and programmes that could stimulate web 2.0 innovation.
Anna Maybank presented the Social Innovation Camp project – an NGO set up collecting all sorts of ideas and suggestions for web sites or web 2.0 solutions for social innovation. Last round was held in December, and after selecting the most promising ideas, the persons with the bright ideas were confronted with hard core developers and during a couple of days their ideas came to life.
Alberto Cottica from
Wim de Waele represents a Belgian organisation called IBBT - Institute for Broadband Technology and has worked with user driven innovation for some years. It seems to be a European ‘Media Lab’ (like MIT) – and seem to have launched a very substantial number of interesting projects marrying creative ideas with technology experts. Also arts and culture has been targeted, and recently also a project inviting open source programmers (Not only in
I presented the IBM experiences using the innovation jam-technology. Since 2001 IBM has improved and tested a large scale collaborative jam session technique involving potentially all IBMers on a World Wide scale. The technique has been used also for external projects like the UN Habitat Jam as a preparation for the UN global conference on Urban Dwelling in
The final session dealt with Government representatives and their views and experiences using web 2.0. Richard Stirling from the UK Cabinet Office talked about the study he has recently finalized for the UK Government and the Power of Information Taskforce. He also gave a number of private/personal experiences and pointed out a number of areas where the exploitation of web 2.0 by government would be inevitable.
Davied Van Berlon from Netherlands discussed on the role of ‘Civil Servant 2.0’, the changes necessary not only in the technical World but much more the change of culture that is needed also in terms in attitude, ways of working. The Civil Servant 2.0 is a combination of blogs, wikis, social network between civil servants aimed at educating, discussion among peers and by including web 2.0 specialists empower the civil servants and inspiring them.
Jose Alonso is the chair of the eGov group in W3C/CTC. He described projects and ideas to open up the Governments huge collection of data to the general public. One example was the transparency project in
David Osimo summed up the day and by using the RSS feed from the conference site you should be able to participate in the formulation of EU’s next version of the ICT strategy when the call for crowd sourcing starts in May. Eventually all of the presentations will be available here as well.
(The conference managed to be on top of the twitter popularity roll for 3 hours when the presentations and discussions were being broadcasted in live video).