With Beth Noveck in Rome: parallel stories of the Wiki government


I admire Beth Noveck‘s work, and I have been following it for years. American, NYU professor, blogger (her blog is a precious source for me), Beth is the founder of Peer to Patent, the first 2.0 project of the American Federal administration. Peer to Patent was much praised by candidate Obama; later, President Obama appointed Beth Deputy CIO to lead the White House’s Open Government initiative. In 2009 she published an excellent book, The Wiki Government, to tell the Peer to Patent story and discuss the implication of a collaborative approach to government.

My own trajectory feels a bit like a smaller scale model of Beth’s. The blog, the first 2.0 project of Italy’s central government administration, the book. We have been in conversation for about a year now: she generously contributed to my book, and even co-authored its preface. So, I am happy and proud to have the chance to work with her: we will hold the two keynote speeches in a public discussion on the Wiki government’s phase two, that of going from cool experimentation to standard work modality for government of all levels. The event will take place on May 26th in Rome, at Sala Capitolare of the Senate, and will be chaired by the Deputy Chairman of the European Parliament Gianni Pittella. At the helm of the organization is the excellent Fabio Maccione (thanks!) from Fondazione Zefiro, and you are all heartily invited. Register here. Jacket and tie are mandatory for men.

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3 thoughts on “With Beth Noveck in Rome: parallel stories of the Wiki government

  1. Don Gecewicz

    Bravi, anche per aver fatto d’obbligo jacket and tie. One must have some standards. I finished Wikicrazia last night–you bring your usual senno to it. I am still skeptical that transparency will happen, can happen, without a continuous struggle (la lotta continua, ne) from those below, from us groundlings, from us plebeians. I see in the US that the government wants things to bubble up on its own terms (which are not always legitimate) as you mention in Wikicrazia in discussing the ‘comando’ used among Obama’s e-consultants. American politicians already know that signing an on-line petition is a politically minimal act–and they act accordingly. And you and I will continue to disagree about privacy, which I consider central to the development of an adult personality (privacy from without to allow growth, a sense of privacy from within to draw the line at intrusions by government, the church, and decadent late capitalism and its endless marketing plans). Related to privacy, I am finding Facebook to be a masterpiece of superficiality–Americans and their tenuous relationships made virtual–all wrapped up in a kind of pseudo-privacy. Then: I liked your analysis of the digital divide. Another aspect (besides the cognativo e tecnologico) is overcoming the divide for a minority group. Those that do can be highly successful in activism and in creating intellectual and social ties. The gay liberation movement has been notably successful here in uniting across borders–and some “minority” languages, especially Catalan (which as a zillion sites) have reached a kind of critical mass (Even Basque, it seems.) So Wikilinguistics has been good for them. Certain languages that seem to be confined to one country do very well on the Web–extending their influence. Italian obviously comes to my mind, yet I also see much Portuguese (which I can read) and much Turkish (which I cannot). These areas–expression of sexuality and expression in Italian or Catalan–seem to have to surmount a kind of digital divide to become viable virtually. And there is the oddity of pornography and the digital divide. Much pornography serves minority tastes–or overcomes local standards. So it is more than obvious why such a visual medium as the WWW would also foster pornography. (So did the Greek painted vases–which were hi-tech for their times.)

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  2. Don Gecewicz

    PS: I still recommend that you read Jaron Lanier’s essay/book. You Are Not a Gadget, in which he discusses in more detail (as aggeggio) some of the ideas that you broach in talking about an attrezzo. He has some ideas about digitizing music that should intrigue you.

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    1. andrea

      un progetto di e-democracy molto interessante e tecnicamente praticabile รจ in Maurizio Bolognini, Democrazia elettronica (Carocci), del 2001…..

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