The most important thing I learned in grad school was very simple: “Draw the picture.” (Thanks Tony.) By that my advisor meant that it’s often hard or impossible to describe a complex system in words alone. And consequently, if you can’t draw a picture of what you’re trying to explain, you probably don’t understand it. Drawing pictures of complex systems also helps everyone understand where the knowledge gaps are, or where unsolved problems are buried, or where contradictions exist.
So, moving into the inaugural Gov 2.0 Expo week, as I reflect on where Government 2.0 is and where it’s headed, I thought I would draw a picture of it. To some people Gov 2.0 is about technology, to some it’s about culture change, to some it’s still about taking risks and doing experiments, to some it’s about policy, or collaboration, or openness. It’s about all of those things. How do they come together into a complex system?
So what does Government 2.0 “look like,” then? A few months ago I gave a few talks out of which I developed a short slide deck about the different components of Gov 2.0, which I’ve now posted publicly. Check out my What Does Government 2.0 Look Like slide deck here. In this post (after the jump), I expand briefly on each slide.
Government 2.0 is transformative
Gov 2.0 is about changing the status quo of government in various ways. What are those ways? They include but are not necessarily limited to: innovation by government, transparency of its processes, collaboration among its members, and participation of citizens. In total, these would constitute a huge transformation of government, at any level.
These basic categories were formally established by the White House shortly after President Obama took office in a memo titled, “Transparency and Open Government.”