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Participation & Open Data
Lee Bryant, Social Strategy Talk, Amsterdam, October 2009
The Twentieth Century is over,
but its political structures live on
Slow shift from old, tired
ideological battles to solving
problems & delivering services
smart government =
bigger (inclusiveness) but
smaller (bureaucracy)
this is our time and
I think ‘we’ can do better
But even Obama’s call
to ‘We’ is still more
rhetoric than reality
We face problems
that governments
cannot solve alone
We face problems
that multiply
through networks
We face problems
of fragmentation,
identity, belonging
We need public
services that can
do more with less
participation + open data
are part of the answer
http://www.endorsetheopendeclaration.eu/
Transparency
Participation
Empowerment
lessons of the social web
(Simple actions * scale) ^ aggregation
= potentially powerful network effects
cost of group forming
& collaboration falling
all the time
the power of feedback
some use cases
Make invisible data
visible & leverage open
data for improvement
Participation & feedback can
drive evolutionary improvement,
enable co-design of services
Participation & feedback can
drive evolutionary improvement,
enable co-design of services
Participation & feedback can
drive evolutionary improvement,
enable co-design of services
Treat government budgets
as innovation funds & build
solutions with people
The DIY / guerilla approach
to opening up government
data & services pioneered
by mySociety
Why are governments not doing more?
why are we still working at
the edges whilst government
“procurement” wastes millions ?
contemporary critiques
of transparency...
“Transparency is the new objectivity”
Some limits of transparency ?
“More information does not always
produce markets that are more
efficient … people may ignore
information, or misunderstand it,
or misuse it.”
Full Disclosure: The Perils and Promise of Transparency
“...the problem of attention-span.
To understand something--an essay,
an argument, a proof of innocence--
requires a certain amount of attention.”
Larry Lessig
issues of legitimacy?
“The fear is that, by forging a path
between the ... Weberian defence of the
state and the democratic Habermasian
defence (a path manifest in the concept
of 'civic hacking' that mySociety
represents), that we get some hybrid of
bureaucracy and democracy, that is
neither quite as effective as the former,
nor as empowering as the latter”
Will Davies
limits to participation?
Who do we not
want to participate
and why?
Conclusion
participation + open data
are ready for the mainstream
ecosystem
co-design
signals / data
filters
Key areas of focus for
online participation &
open data projects
there are many forms
of online participation
We need to learn a lot
more about different
participation methods, &
reach non-geeks better
Thanks for listening!
I am lee@headshift.com
I live at http://www.headshift.com
Except where otherwise stated, photos courtesy of Flickr using Creative Commons license.
Thanks to the following photographers:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/greenpeace_italia/2430328823/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/markrjones/47761183/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/marcn/2174935053/sizes/l/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/wili/1999071010/sizes/l/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/andyarmstrong/4035014763/in/pool-stopthebnp
http://www.flickr.com/photos/arenamontanus/375127836/sizes/o/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/pushandplay/2586461185/in/set-72157603886536530/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/pushandplay/2968259379/
Other references:
http://potlatch.typepad.com/weblog/2009/10/what-is-the-postbureaucratic-state.html
http://www.tnr.com/print/article/books-and-arts/against-transparency

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Participation and Open Data