I was in Rome last week, to hold a keynote presentation at a large government tech/innovation trade fair called ForumPA. It was a lot of fun, with a very high energy exchange between me and the audience. 18 months after my book Wikicrazia hit the bookshops, we talked in a very frank way of where the frontiers of online collaboration between citizens and institutions are, and what new and interesting problems are emerging. One is “kicking down doors”: piggybacking on innovative civil servants or elected officials to set precedents and open up new administrative channels, in order to extend the space of actions perceived as possible by administrations. Another one is the dire need for complex ecosystems of governance, with civil society acting as skunkworks of new solution that might then be adopted by institutions proper. You can find the video here (very professionally made, in Italian); the slides are above.
The European Parliament accelerates on open government. Its latest move is a written declaration, a tool whose purpose is to launch or reopen debates on issues of interest to the Union.
With a very wikicratic move, initiator MEPs Gianni Pittella, Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou, Marietje Schaake, Maria Matias, Katarina Nevedalova have uploaded the draft text onto com-ment.com, a platform for collaborative commentary. The document’s title will speak to the heart of all admirers of the Internet’s ultrahorizontal form of governance: Request for comments: Written declaration on open and collaborative government.
The RFC will stay commentable until April 9th. Then it will be rewritten so as to take citizens’ comments into account, translated in the various EU official languages and brought to parliament. Cleary, the more active citizen participation to the “wiki” phase the higher the likelihood that this will go through and become an official act of the European Parliament, helping open government to occupy a central position in the Commission’s and the member states’ agendas. So get in there and speak your mind.
The concept of wikicracy – constructive collaboration between citizens and public institutions – in eight minutes, in the video of of my presentation at Happy Birthday Web (in Italian).