In structuring the book's contributions, we took inspiration in the Obama memo – that government should be transparent, participatory and collaborative – and ended up sorting the contributions in three related sections: “Opening Government,” “Democratizing Government” and “Co‐Creation, Innovation & Values,” each with five chapters. Before we get to these, and to get into the context, we have a substantial “Government 2.0” section with ten chapters as well as the foreword by Don Tapscott.
The Government 2.0 section begins with a contribution from Mr. Web 2.0, Tim O'Reilly, who argues that Government 2.0 is a promise of innovation. Washington‐based researcher and writer Mark Drapeau follows up and argues that Government 2.0 is about moving from what he calls the “goverati adhocracy,” to “Government With the People.”
Then follows three different examples of Government 2.0 in action. The first example is the hugely successful social networking site GovLoop, a “Facebook for feds,” which is described by its founder, Steve Ressler. The second example is about crowdsourcing in a specific area, as Dan Doney from the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence introduces BRIDGE, the Intelligence Community's testbed for new community and analysis tools. The third example is about the State of Utah, which is recognized as one of the absolute leading US States when it comes to e‐Government. State CTO, David Fletcher, describes how Utah deals with Government 2.0.
Having now seen a few examples of Government 2.0 in action, it is time to take a close look at the concept. “Is the concept of Government 2.0 really all that new?” asks Steve Radick from Booz Allen Hamilton. Inspired by the Cluetrain Manifesto, he presents Twenty Theses for Government 2.0.
The Government 2.0 agenda is not just on the table in the US, and the following chapters will take the reader around the world. First stop is Australia. Stephen Collins from AcidLabs introduces the Australian Government 2.0 agenda, and discusses how it relates to the traditional e‐Government agenda. He also analyzes the cultural issues around Government 2.0. Next we come to Europe. David Osimo from Tech4i2 gives an overview of the progressive structuring of web 2.0 in government, and calls for Public Services 2.0. Returning to North America, now to Canada, Alexandra Samuel from Social Signal asks, “why do public agencies take so long to embrace social media?” and distills emergent opportunities and best practices for governments, seeking to tap the power of social media. Closing this section, from San Francisco, digital anthropologist Ariel Waldman suggests three reasons government isn’t ready for 2.0 yet.
Ready or not, government is changing. The following section, Opening Government, deals with the changes induced by the transparency and openness agenda. The section opens with government strategist W. David Stephenson, who argues that time has come to make government data freely available and usable. He presents five principles to guide the process of democratizing data, and discusses the strategic shift that will be needed, since data triggers transformation. The same logic can be found in the work of the UK Government’s Power of Information Taskforce; they recently recommended sweeping reforms to how the civil service publishes, manages and engages with information. Taskforce Chair Richard Allen describes the Power of Information agenda and its impact on the way in which the UK Government works with public sector information and internetenabled innovation.
Another dimension in opening government is in the way government projects are handled, especially when they have IT components. Tommy Dejbjerg Pedersen from Danish GeekHouse argues for a fully transparent approach to government projects, right down to the code level.
Picking up on transparency, Lawrence Lessig from Harvard Law School argues that the age of transparency is upon us, for good and for worse. He looks into the perils of openness in government, and argues that we are not thinking critically enough about where and when transparency works, and where and when it may lead to confusion, or to worse.
David Weinberger from Harvard Berkman Center for Internet & Society puts forward the claim that transparency is the new objectivity, and discusses the challenges governments face, as hyperlinked transparency becomes the norm.
At this point, it should be clear to the reader that there is much more to be said about wider democratic issues, and this is exactly what the next section, Democratizing Government, deals with. Michael Friis, Founder of Folkets Ting, a website covering the Danish parliament (“Folketinget”), discusses Democracy 2.0 and how we can go about building websites that support and strengthen democracy. Joanne Caddy from the OECD identifies a need for governments to shift from their traditional “government‐as‐usual” to a broader governance perspective which builds on the twin pillars of openness and inclusion to deliver better policy outcomes and high quality public services not only for, but with, citizens.
Rolf Lührs, Bengt Feil and Harald Rathmann from German TuTech Innovation discuss the field of spatial planning. They argue that tronic tools can provide many advantages over the traditional analogue way of organising formal participation.
Matt Leighninger from the Deliberative Democracy Consortium finds that today's citizens are better at governing, and worse at being governed, than ever before. We need, he argues, to recast the relationship between citizens and government.
Lee Bryant from HeadShift in the UK argues that it is time to take a serious look at how we can leverage human talent, energy and creativity to begin rebooting the system to create sustainable, affordable, long‐term mechanisms for public engagement.
In the last section, Co‐Creation, Innovation & Values, the contributions cover a range of issues related to the collaborative and managerial aspects of government.
The section opens with Olov Östberg from Mid Sweden University, who looks at the challenge the Swedish Government faces as they aim to reclaim world leadership in the e‐Government ranking circus by 2010. He argues that the main challenge for government is to become better at becoming better, together.
From the UK, Tony Bovaird, Elke Löffler and James Downe explore user co‐production and community co‐production, two very different theoretical strands in current thinking on co‐production of public services and public policy.
Philipp S. Müller from Salzburg‐based Center for Public Management and Governance argues that open value creation has become a mainstream strategic management approach, and that in order to fully utilize open value creation, radical transparency is necessary. He presents a framework for this approach.
Corporate strategist Chris Potts points out that government must be much more transparent about investments in government‐led change. He analyzes the value dimension of government IT project portfolios and the importance of transparency. Researchers Kim Normann Andersen, Hanne Sørum and Rony Medaglia look closer at how the e‐government portfolio is recognized through various awards. They put forward five propositions on how to increase the value of e‐government awards.
In the transparent, participatory and collaborative spirit, the book's content (over 75,000 words) has been published under a Creative Commons license (“Attribution‐Noncommercial‐Share Alike 3.0 Denmark”). This means that you can use it, share it, and remix it, but must always give attribution to the authors, and you may not use it for commercial purposes. All content is available at our website, 21Gov.net, where you can also find more material and participate in debates.
Just a note on the book's references: There are many references to weblinks (URLs), and will note these links are all to j.mp (for example, http://j.mp/21gov). This is fully intentional: We use the popular j.mp URL‐shortening service, which many twitters and others are using to avoid having to write the all‐too‐often much too long links we find everywhere on the web.