Can Open Data Save The Public Realm
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Can Open Data Save The Public Realm

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Presentation by Chris Taggart and Emer Coleman given at City Camp London, October 8, 2010.

Presentation by Chris Taggart and Emer Coleman given at City Camp London, October 8, 2010.

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  • [Holding slide] <br />
  • Chris <br />
  • Emer <br />
  • Chris: This is the question for today. <br />
  • Emer <br />
  • Chris: So let&#x2019;s try something a bit more achievable <br />
  • Emer <br />
  • Chris <br />
  • Emer <br />
  • Chris <br />
  • Chris: a project that&apos;s scoped to death, so that no-one now understands what the point is anymore <br />
  • Emer: But small, public failures;&#xA0;not big private failures. Big monolithic projects where &#x2018;failure is not an option&#x2019; are more likely to fail than small innovative ones, but <br /> <br />
  • Emer: But small, public failures;&#xA0;not big private failures. Big monolithic projects where &#x2018;failure is not an option&#x2019; are more likely to fail than small innovative ones, but <br /> <br />
  • Chris <br />
  • Emer <br />
  • Emer <br />
  • Emer <br />
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  • <br />
  • So what does this all mean <br />
  • Chris <br />
  • Chris <br />
  • Chris <br />
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  • Emer <br />
  • This is the Director of Digital Engagement&#x2019;s Twitter connections <br />
  • The smokers&#x2019; network <br />
  • Unconferences <br />
  • Chris <br />
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  • Emer <br />
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  • Chris <br />
  • Chris: If our neighbours house burns down it affects us too <br />
  • Emer <br />
  • Chris <br />
  • Emer <br />
  • Chris <br />
  • Emer <br />
  • Emer <br />
  • Chris <br />
  • Emer <br />
  • Chris <br />
  • Emer <br />
  • Chris <br />
  • Emer <br />
  • Chris: information, services, support when we want it, how we want it, where we want it <br />
  • Emer <br />

Can Open Data Save The Public Realm Can Open Data Save The Public Realm Presentation Transcript

  • Can open data save the public realm?
  • Chris Taggart • Developer of OpenlyLocal, opening up local government information (whether they like it or not) • Developer of OpenCharities, an open version of the Register of Charities • Member of Local Public Data Panel • Member of London Digital Advisory Board 2
  • Emer Coleman • Director of Digital Projects Greater London Authority • London Datastore • TFL data • WIFI London • Crime & Health data next 3
  • Can open data save the public realm?
  • No
  • No The End
  • Can open data help save the public realm?
  • Can open data help save the public realm? aka: opening up the black box of government to keep it relevant
  • What’s the problem with government? 7
  • http://goldberg.berkeley.edu/art/big-images/ It’s a black box. You can't see the workings, still less understand them
  • It cares about process. People care about results
  • It's a complex system that’s failing under today’s demands http://www.flickr.com/photos/danielproulx/3594842434/
  • It’s obsessed with ‘scoping’ everything out, resulting in inflexible, unsuitable, unexplainable & unworkable plans
  • It doesn’t understand failure
  • It doesn’t understand failure 2. 8m £ But failure is how things evolve
  • Always looking for the silver bullet (but there are no silver bullets) http://www.flickr.com/photos/eschipul/4160817135/
  • But the problem for the future is...
  • But the problem for the future is... Government is becoming less powerful, less relevant
  • But the problem for the future is... Government is becoming less powerful, less relevant and with it the public sector
  • Facebook vs the British govt Who has more power? 15
  • Tesco vs any council: who decides whether a new store should be built 16
  • BP vs Rest of the World In which country is it really based?
  • How do you get things improved? The ‘proper channels’ vs Twitter/Facebook/ hyperlocal blog 18
  • So what’s it really all about...
  • So what’s it really all about... It's the network, stupid
  • So what’s it really all about... It's the network, stupid It always has been
  • The network then..
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/psychemedia/5029872394/sizes/l/in/photostream/
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/10727183@N07/2497817756 22
  • The network now
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/psychemedia/5029872394/sizes/l/in/photostream/ 25
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/thusihaveseen/2200266653/sizes/o/in/photostream/
  • 27 http://www.flickr.com/photos/jdlasica/506378526
  • What defines their network?
  • Slow
  • Closed
  • Has difficulty evolving http://www.flickr.com/photos/86624586@N00/112835575/sizes/l/in/photostream/
  • Predicated on scarcity of connections 32
  • Geographically rooted 33
  • ...and our network? 34
  • Fast 35 http://www.flickr.com/photos/shindotv/2550829907/sizes/l/in/photostream/
  • Promiscuous 36 http://www.flickr.com/photos/pokpok/114311823/
  • Next to zero cost of connecting 37 http://www.flickr.com/photos/jimpurbrick/1287419645
  • http://images.cdn.fotopedia.com/flickr-2397881577-original.jpg formed in a second, critical mass in a day
  • But...
  • ...geography still matters http://www.flickr.com/photos/cayusa/3338803775/lightbox/
  • ...and who will clean our streets in the Facebook world http://www.flickr.com/photos/brabantbekijken/3838710109
  • ..and how will we have a say in how it’s done http://www.flickr.com/photos/grievousangel/140482370/size 42
  • ...and who would bother to vote for something that is powerless and irrelevant 43
  • ...and by the way, outsourcing services is currently just a black box talking to other black boxes Government Mega Big Monolithic Service Co Solutions Co Processes Co
  • so... Open data
  • opens up the box and in the process... http://www.flickr.com/photos/dcarlbom/4381005273/
  • ...allows rich, complex connections, approaches Opposite to one size fits all
  • through, learning from both ...allows failures & successes to shine Original photo http://www.flickr.com/photos/hippie/2742566760/sizes/o/in/photostream/
  • ...encourages complex dynamic networks, not sterile hierarchical organisations
  • ...encourages complex dynamic networks, not sterile hierarchical organisations
  • Has the potential to make it trivially easy to get involved aka Big Society™
  • Makes government accountable and makes all of us responsible
  • So, open data is a silver bullet http://www.flickr.com/photos/eschipul/4160817135/
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/eschipul/4160817135/ So, open data is a silver bullet WRONG! There are no silver bullets
  • But it does give the public realm a chance to stay relevant
  • In brief • the rewards of failure • there are no silver bullets • open data is not just about data • government as a platform vs government as an irrelevance