People Are the Center of Gov 2.0

As the Founder of both Gov20LA and You2Gov, it is interesting to me to sit back for a minute and watch another gathering without participating directly. I learn a lot just by watching sometimes. The warp speed of the Gov 2.0 space is rapidly turning it into “an industry.” For this year’s Tim O’Reilly sponsored “G2E” it seemed like a large international contingent; as well as some unusual suspects twittering about #G2E, as it is called on Twitter. As usual, there were also lots of fancy words flying around Washington, DC at the Government 2.0, “Gov 2.0” love-fest aka Gov2Expo. Many of my fellow innovators and entrepreneurs were there – showing the latest tools, apps, widgets and sharing lots of Gov Geek Love. Congrats to Tim for another successful conference. But forgive me, Tim and everyone gathered. Look at this list:

  • Technology.
  • Data.
  • Methodology.
  • Open Source.
  • Platform.
  • Mobile.
  • SMS.

What do you see? What is Missing from this list? What is missing from flowcharts and fancy graphics? You. Me. Tim. Every Government worker and consultant at every level of Government. For without people, it is hardly a movement, let alone a “Good Revolution” as I have called it. Without people, there is no technology that works beyond a few days or so; without people, data has no meaning; without people, methodologies are meaningless; without people, Open Source is empty; without people, platforms fall down; without people there is no mobility. The gravity in the situation rests now and will always rest with the people. Otherwise, all the other parts simply become cards in a fragile stack. But engage the people, involve them, educate them and demonstrate how these key words above affect them through Gov 2.0 – now you are building a solid foundation without flimsy walls.

In the charge to open the data and transform the services Government renders, I posit one basic question:
How are you planning on executing on your goals if the People are not Front and Center in every step of this process? Not as an afterthought or footnote. But as one of the prime cores of Gov 2.0, Gov 3.0 and beyond.

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2 thoughts on “People Are the Center of Gov 2.0

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention People Are the Center of Gov 2.0 « IdeaGov -- Topsy.com

  2. You bring up an important point, Alan. It’s easy to get hypnotized by technology and the infinite ways we’re finding to use data. We get excited talking about mash-ups and showing off our clever visualizations, but if people don’t support the “why” we’re doing those things, we fail. It takes leadership by developers, policy makers and users to put the principles of transparency, participation and collaboration into action.

    The g2e and opengov conferences are necessary and they make us feel good, but at the end of the day we need to be working to convince our bosses and our peers that a Gov 2.0 (and beyond) future is the right future for our society. The crowd can source solutions, but it needs to be a source of leadership, too. You or someone else mentioned it recently that we can’t just build it and hope they’ll come.

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