Singapore GovCamp 18th Jan 2011Discussion Session“As governments around the world embark on open dataprojects are our institutions and citizens ready to move tothis real-time world. Have we considered all the upsidesand downsides?”Stuart Smith CEO
Positives of Open Government Data Taken from a UK perspective but commonly used: Promoting transparency and accountability Empowering citizens to drive public sector reform Releasing the economic and social value of information
But what about the citizen and theinstitutions in all this?Visions of technology-driven change oftensuppose situations inwhich “conflict, politicsand adversariallegalism are unknownor at leastunimportant”Hood, C.C. & Margetts, H.Z., 2007. TheTools of Government in the Digital Age 2nded., Palgrave Macmillan.
Do Real Time Cities = Real TimeDecision Making? How much data can we cope with? Are all citizens really empowered? What about context? What about cognitive bias? Are all app developers agenda free? Do our democratic processes move at the same speed? Reactionary politics rather than considered long term politics? What about time for reflection in decision making? Is our professional training recognising this shift? Transport engineers Environmental engineers Urban planning professionals Governance professionals & politicians School and University training In the UK will scrutiny through data journalism prevent innovation in the public sector? Is there a potential that in opening up data to empower citizens we reinforce the technocratic elite (geekocracy?) and further disenfranchise those without the know how, skills, access or time?
Solutions Open Data has the ability to be hugely powerful for mankind and the planet but…. If technology is moving and recombining faster than our citizens and institutions can keep up, what to do? Education – how is this emerging „real time‟ data world being factored in? Educators at all levels need to consider this Engagement – as with all changes, governments will want to ensure that all citizens are engaged in these changes. Privacy – what is acceptable? Can we opt in and out? Professions – professional bodies must begin the process of engaging and educating their members Institutions – are our great civic institutions adapting to the changes Business – does the business community understand the implications of open data NOW DEBATE!