Opening Government in London – Media, Recap, and More

Our London meeting was a huge success, drawing in participants from across our pre-Network and beyond. At 10 Downing Street, our conversations tackled the major shifts in governance being enabled by new technologies – a dialogue whose highlights were captured on Twitter as well as in photographs (slideshow below). The following day, at the Open Data Institute, we began drilling down on specific projects and problems – plantings the seeds of what will grow into the foundations of our potential research and project agenda. After the jump, we’ve posted a presentation summarizing the major shift in the relationship between government and citizens we discussed at No. 10, as well as a few interesting responses from pre-Network members. For another look at that shift, download our one-page summary that poses some of the toughest questions of our work.

Responses from pre-Network members:

The Pre-Network: Opening Government from Seena Jon Ghaznavi on Vimeo.

Tim O’Reilly on trust and systemic shifts:
“The change we’re facing is from studying, looking at, and reacting to systems to relatively autonomous systems…. The real question of the future is, ‘whose black box do we trust?'”
 Jim Hendler comments on the international implications of the shift:
“I also want us to think about things outside of the boundaries of the traditional nation-state. I really want to see day when community organizer in Southern London can communicate with community organizer in India on common issues. Technological underpinnings imply drastic rethinking of the traditional boundaries between governments and nation-states.”
 David Halpern’s insight into the value of citizen data:
“The most interesting data is not the government data, it’s the data of citizens. Net recommended scores and experience of users tend to be of much larger value. Official data is really more about calibrating.”
Susan Crawford offered a cautionary observation:
“We’re at a point of fierce urgency of now. It’s not clear how much government is actually changing, if lives are actually being changed…. but we run the risk of having these developments not be seen to actually change lives. Are they actually adding to a rich democratic, national relationships around the world, or, is technology and open data sometimes used as a screen to allow the same five guys to make the same decisions they’ve always been making?”
 Ari Wallach on pulling in public investment in changing paradigms:
“People want to see how they’re involved in where things are going. Shifts only occur when people have an idea of where they’re going – and we have an opportunity to shape that view.”
Sandy Pentland on the raw power of modern data:
“We have a God’s Eye View – we used to know nothing about other people, now we know everything.”

Click on photos to download.


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