Friday, September 4, 2009

Here comes the #Gov20 Expo & Summit

I am thrilled to be attending the Gov 2.0 Summit this coming week. Thinking of government as a platform opens up many possibilities for improvement and innovation in our system. Read Tim O'Reilly's post What Does Government 2.0 Mean To You? to glean some insight into his thinking on the subject.

Some have complained that the idea of innovation in government is somehow unpatriotic or goes against love of country. I absolutely disagree. We live in the greatest country that has ever existed on this planet. However, I do think it time for an upgrade. The founders designed our constitutional form of government with the idea that we can adapt and change. I believe strongly that the best form of government is a constitutional republic such as ours. I do not subscribe to the 'living constitution' theory of judicial activism, and I do not advocate change just for change's sake. But moving into the future does not necessarily denigrate the past.

If we draw an analogy to communications, the telegraph was a great technological advancement, but the telephone, television, the world wide web, and wireless technologies built successively greater communications platforms. The iPhone doesn't mean the telegraph was no good ~ innovation is spurred from previous success (and sometimes failure). Government 2.0 is an improvement and upgrade of our current system, not its destruction.

The recent @GovFresh post The Great Gov 2.0 Cultural Divide points out some of the difficulties in turning this great big ship into the wind. It will take effort and compromise to begin building a more open, engaged and smarter government. It is time for new thinking and fresh ideas and it will certainly be exciting to see what happens.