Colliding With The Social Web

Gov 2.0 Enters Next Phase: Opportunities and Action

This post originally appears in the blog section at:

The 2010 Gov 2.0 Summit in Washington, DC, brought together a high-caliber collection of thought leaders from the federal government, tech industry, SIs, the business community and others.

The conference’s overarching theme was that it is not enough for the government to simply unleash stagnant or trapped data to the masses, but rather harnessing the power of technology to improve and transform what government already does.

Here is a breakdown of some of the key points that were delivered at Gov 2.0:

@Carl Malamud, Founder and President of Public.Resource.Org, identified several examples of IT waste, including instances in which data was actually being transported by car instead of shared electronically.   Malamud sees  a need for bulk data standards and a serious “national scanning initiative” to digitize data. Malamud had perhaps the line of the conference when he said, “If we can put a man on the moon, surely we can launch the @LibraryCongress into cyberspace.”

@Ellen Miller of the Sunlight Foundation talked about how Gov 2.0 is not just about unlocking data. Otherwise, the government spends time and resources releasing census information on wild horses instead of mining safety reports. The key is for government to focus on releasing data that improves its ability to be critically assessed and improve efficiency. Lastly, Miller stressed the need for citizens to be engaged to help make #gov20 a reality.

Living up to the ideal of transforming government, Todd Park, CTO of Health and Human Service (HHS), discussed his department’s efforts to open data, including its support for
Health2Challenge and HHS’ implementation of the “blue button initiative” which will allow VA and Medicare recipients to download health data from medical providers and hospitals.

Todd Park, CTO, HHS, talks with Tim O’Reilly about how he was persuaded to work in government.

@TimOReilly moderated a session between Aneesh Chopra, Federal Chief Technology Officer of the United States and Vivek Kundra, Chief Information Officer of the United States. Chopra talked about how the government has an infrastructure challenge to satisfy the growth of mobile technology, and the need to double spectrum as part of the solution. Kundra talked about cloud computing and the need to “speed up the democratization of data.” Both proudly unveiled the launch of, an open contest forum for citizens to develop solutions to various government challenges.

BrightScope’s @mikealfred presented one of the most compelling cases on how a persistent pursuit of government data can fuel an innovative business model. By obtaining
data from the Department of Labor, SEC, Census Bureau, EEOC and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, BrightScope is able to provide 401K ratings and financial intelligence, which leads to greater efficiency in the 401K plan market.

On the whole, Gov 2.0 seems to be evolving. The consensus from the sessions and discussions with attendees like David Stephenson (@Data4All), Jack Dangermond @ESRI and others was that Gov 2.0 is now more about identifying opportunities, being innovative when tackling challenges and taking action.

For a complete Twitter stream of the event, click here –

For the latest tweets on #g2s click here

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