Friday, December 24, 2010

Have a great holiday break and see you in the new year

I'd like to wish everyone who reads my blog a fantastic holiday break with their nearest and dearest and a great New Year.

I'm taking a break from writing this blog and plan to continue this conversation with you in early January.

Looking back
Reflecting back, I believe that 2010 has been a solid year for Government 2.0 in Australia. There's been the start of the process for bedding down the Gov 2.0 Taskforce's recommendations, the Federal introduction of FOI amendments and the move towards Creative Commons as a default license. States and local governments have been very active, with particularly highlights the Victorian Government's Gov 2.0 action plan and whole-of-government program and South Australia's social media guidelines. Locally we've seen councils bring the public into the tent on a wide variety of consultations and more collaborative planning around local areas.

Outside of the government we've seen hundreds of applications and websites created through state competitions, OpenAustralia going from strength to strength and a number of other sites created to help demystify and improve the accountability of government - though I don't think there's been the same level of activity or funding as we've seen in the UK and US thus far.

At all levels of government we've seen a great deal of 'practice' initiatives as agencies experimented and innovated with Government 2.0 approaches in non-critical areas and a few steps towards authentic online engagement by public servants in public forums, although significant reluctance is still evident and the number of public servants actually engaging in conversations online is still small.

Looking forward
I expect 2011 to be the year we begin sharing more case studies from current and new agency initiatives and Government 2.0 will become more embedded as a practice and discipline - a set of tools and techniques that are recognised as a core skillset for a subset (at least) of public servants.

I hope we'll see greater use of Gov 2.0 approaches in emergency and issues management and more agencies prepared to invest in building their Government 2.0 capabilities, although skilled practitioners will remain extremely thin on the ground and we will remain limited in our ability to source practical skills from the private sector.

For me Government 2.0 is about,

  • aligning government engagement and decision-making processes with our public's preferred channels and culture, 
  • improving productivity through knowledge sharing and connecting within and between agencies,
  • improving social outcomes through authentic ongoing community engagement, and
  • improving the accountability of governments and agencies through improving access to information, analysis and well-considered opinions. 
It is also about remaining internationally competitive as a nation by leveraging our greatest asset - our collective skills and intelligence - by bringing more people 'inside the tent' through collaboration.

I think we'll begin seeing significant value in all of these areas in 2011.

Why not contribute?
If you're also considering the future of Government 2.0 in Australia, and around the world - perhaps in regards to your own career, or to the future of Australian society - why not provide a comment, your ideas or a contribution to the Gov 2.0 Future Project, the book and blog project Kate Carruthers and I have in motion over at

We have already had expressions of interest to contribute from over 60 leading Government 2.0 practitioners and thinkers, from all around the world, and are looking for a diverse set of views to help us provide a tool for politicians, public servants and the public to help them think about the long-term consequences of a Government 2.0 world.


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