Live Blog: If Only We Knew…

Live updates will be provided from today’s rotating sessions. Each new update will be from a completely different group of our guests discussing each room’s topics.

ROOM TOPICS: What are the most important research questions that, if answered, would radically transform our understanding of open government?


3:57PM: Trust in today’s political environment is hard to come by. Often times this is because the government manipulates data in order to influence the population under its rule in a certain direction that aligns with political interest rather than public good. How do you turn data into trustworthy and actionable knowledge? Also, what is the information that then gets the citizens interested and engaged? In order for citizens to be motivated to get involved in the system, then they need to trust that the information they provide will remain uncorrupted by political interest and that the information they are consuming is of a trustworthy provenance.

3:16PM: Under certain conditions, the development of knowledge through crowdsourcing can outperform expert input. For this reason, the collective wisdom of crowds is important to measure as we strive to develop more democratic forms of governance. Where, when and how does the release of open data make crowds wise? In this context, it is important to develop metrics to define wisdom and understand under what conditions crowdsourcing is most beneficial. There is a need to also specify what types of data should be made open and what mediums should be used to disseminate it.

2:44PM: We are investing in new network technologies that are changing the face of the global economy. What are the actionable steps that need to be taken by academia, civil servants and private sector representatives to help navigate this future? If we are able to identify this accurately, then we can anticipate the new skills that will aid in the development of the future and make investments accordingly.  Understanding the skill sets required by the future will also help to define what new jobs need to be developed.  The skills and the networks that are being produced must be smart and agile to account for the ever-increasing speed of change.

1:46PM: While it’s easy to direct questions and citizen engagement toward the crowd as a whole, if only we knew when crowds are wise–or, naturally, unwise–and why? Could we develop a system to more strategically guide the deployment of crowdsourcing?

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