Run that Town is an interesting game from the Australian Bureau of Statistics that uses real census data. It’s certainly a lovely looking thing.
From the blurb:
Use real Census data to discover who’s who in your area, and make decisions that will sway popular opinion in your favour. Choose from hundreds of projects for your town – from the practical to the preposterous.
What kind of leader will you be? Will you be treated to a ticker tape parade, or chased out of town by an angry mob?
Rewired State – hack UK online – "A one-day hack providing expert advice and prototyping for UK online centres, providing technical options for improving searching on the UK online centres website for a local centre, leading to an improved and more effective experience for the web user."
Creating The Contribution Society – "It seems to me that social software, and architectures of participation, are two means to delivering on the promise of a Contribution Society, where your worth is at least partially measured on what you contribute, rather than what you own."
Big Society needs Big Democracy | The Democratic Society – "Instead, the Big Society and the network need to focus on creating a wider conversation in communities, which can move away from the Whitehall and Westminster world, and promote local solutions. They also need to create a deeper democratic conversation in those localities, to increase the effectiveness, legitimacy and coherence of local action."
Australian government’s Declaration of Open Government – "The Australian Government now declares that, in order to promote greater participation in Australia’s democracy, it is committed to open government based on a culture of engagement, built on better access to and use of government held information, and sustained by the innovative use of technology."
Beauty is the new must-have feature – “I’m predicting that we’ll start to have a non-functional requirement around making beautiful experiences when we build systems, and that we’ll be rubbish at it when it happens.”
Follow Finder by Google – “Follow Finder analyzes public social graph information (following and follower lists) on Twitter to find people you might want to follow.”
Enterprise 2.0 and improved business performance – “Despite growing evidence, which I’ve presented here and elsewhere, there still remains for many people a real question about the overall ability of social software to improve how organizations get things done.”
Why does government struggle with innovation? – “If innovation is becoming a core attribute required by government organisations, merely to keep up with the rate of change in society and the development of new ways to deliver services and fulfil public needs, perhaps we need to rewrite some of the rulebook, sacrificing part of our desire for stability in return for greater change.”
The Biggest Obstacle to Innovation – “There are many candidates for the biggest obstacle to innovation. You could try lack of management support, no employee initiative, not enough good ideas, too many good ideas but no follow-through just for starters. My nominee for The Biggest Obstacle to Innovation is: Inertia”
Government 2.0 or the use of the new collaborative tools and approaches of Web 2.0 offers an unprecedented opportunity to achieve more open, accountable, responsive and efficient government.
Though it involves new technology, Government 2.0 is really about a new approach to organising and governing. It will draw people into a closer and more collaborative relationship with their government. Australia has an opportunity to resume its leadership in seizing these opportunities and capturing the resulting social and economic benefits.
Leadership, and policy and governance changes are needed to shift public sector culture and practice to make government information more accessible and usable, make government more consultative, participatory and transparent, build a culture of online innovation within Government, and to promote collaboration across agencies.
Government pervades some of the most important aspects of our lives. Government 2.0 can harness the wealth of local and expert knowledge, ideas and enthusiasm of Australians to improve schools, hospitals, workplaces, to enrich our democracy and to improve its own policies, regulation and service delivery.
Government 2.0 is a key means for renewing the public sector; offering new tools for public servants to engage and respond to the community; empower the enthusiastic, share ideas and further develop their expertise through networks of knowledge with fellow professionals and others. Together, public servants and interested communities can work to address complex policy and service delivery challenges.
Information collected by or for the public sector — is a national resource which should be managed for public purposes. That means that we should reverse the current presumption that it is secret unless there are good reasons for release and presume instead that it should be freely available for anyone to use and transform unless there are compelling privacy, confidentially or security considerations.
Government 2.0 will not be easy for it directly challenges some aspects of established policy and practice within government. Yet the changes to culture, practice and policy we envisage will ultimately advance the traditions of modern democratic government. Hence, there is a requirement for co-ordinated leadership, policy and culture change.
Government 2.0 is central to the delivery of government reforms like promoting innovation; and making our public service the world’s best.
Despina Babbage from the Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development in the government of the state of Victoria in Australia emailed me this morning to let me know about her blog, which is all about citizen engagement.
It’s well worth subscribing to, as Despina does a great job of pulling together activity from all over the world – and it’s nice to hear from others what they think about what we are doing here in the UK, too!