D'Arcy from Winnipeg
Solution Architecture, Business & Entrepreneurship, Microsoft, and Adoption

Sask 3.0 Summit–Day 1 Recap

Wednesday, April 25, 2012 12:14 AM

I’m only done Day 1 of Sask 3.0 Summit and I’m already exhausted – but at the same time exhilarated; the sessions today and the information shared was of huge value. While the conversation will continue here in Saskatchewan long after the conference is done, there are definitely new conversations that need to be had back in Manitoba.

So what did I learn. Well, Open Government is here and is the future. It’s not a gimmick, it’s not a fad – its a new way to do government, and the paradigm shift is neither trivial nor easily implemented. The considerations are numerous, and I can fill multiple blog posts (which I will) on the subjects, but if there’s a synopsis I’d give its this:

Moving to Open Gov is about efficiency as much as it is accountability. Open Gov isn’t about allowing people to snoop on your government, its about nurturing collaborative relationships between government and citizens to benefit both. The power of Open Data and the potential it has to impact policy decisions or create solutions to problems people didn’t even know existed is palpable. The opportunities around improved online government services are huge. Like any initiative though, planning and ensuring the right support system from shareholders, stakeholders, and champions is a must.

(Read my blog post on Moving to Open Gov here.)

You also need to consider security and privacy. Canada has old, outdated privacy laws that were drafted 30 years yet are still in place today. At the same time, ensuring citizen’s personal information is secured throughout interactions with online services is crucial, and we heard how BC has leapfrogged other provinces in their move to a more streamlined service offering while maintaining high privacy standards.

Another consideration is around citizen expectations. We heard at the conference about the data collected from Canadians on how they rate the federal government’s service levels and its an underwhelming 60/100 for approx the last 10 years, and currently trending downward.

And finally, there’s the next generation of workers. I believe very strongly that for our governments to really move forward, to leapfrog over current and emerging technologies and techniques, and to ensure we have the right people working on the right things in the right way, that we need a new labour movement. One that differs from the adversarial and entitled culture rampant in many governments.

I’ll get to blogging on all of the above points this week, and Day 2 of the Summit will I’m sure provide even more insight and ideas.


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