I may be too optimistic, but I see some signals that a new kind of conversation is opening between (some) public administrations and (some) citizens. Here they are:
1. The OECD workshop I took part in last week, in London. We talked of co-design and co-delivery in public services, public administrations and citizens together; and we went about it in a free flowing, informal style, basing the discussion on detailed case studies. Interestingly, it was not a one-off, but part of a series (Innovative Delivery Workshop Series), so it seems that the OECD has some intention of carrying this stuff forwards.
2. The Public Services 2.0 group is launching today a collective brainstorming that should lead to an open declaration to present to the EU ministerial conference on the European IT strategy (Målmo, November 2009)
3. The European Commission participates an a typical hacker conference like Reboot, and it chooses it as the venue for a workshop on how to help the new European Parliament to make wise decisions on technology policy.
It is not realistic to expect miracle solutions from all this; they are very small initiatives. But they are small wise moves, and they are way better than the current balkanisation of the debate (check out this video). in which the Hon. Gabriella Carlucci (former TV showgirl, presently vice president of the Italian parliamentary commission on childhood) tells dissenting blogger Alessandro Gilioli that she wishes his son would be stalked by a pedophile while on Facebook. Check it out, and then tell me we don’t need to let all sides talk, openly and respectfully.