What can 21st century open government learn from open source, open data, open innovation and open journalism?
Alexander B. Howard, Gov 2.0 Washington Correspondent for O'Reilly Media
Tuesday, March 20, 12:30 pm Berkman Center, 23 Everett Street, Second Floor
In the 1990s, the Internet changed communication and commerce forever. A decade later, the Web 2.0 revolution created a new disruption, enabling hundreds of millions of citizens to publish, share, mix, comment, and upload media to a more dynamic online environment. In 2012, we're now living in the era of big data, where mobile devices and a real-time Web are dramatically shift the dynamic between governments and the governed. In the years since the first social networks went online, the disruption has spread to government, creating perceived shifts in power structures as large as those enabled by the introduction of the printing press centuries ago. As the means of publishing have become democratized and vast amounts of data have become available, new possibilities for civic advocates, activists, journalists, developers and entrepreneurs have emerged.
The historic events of the last year, from Egypt to #Occupy to the SOPA debate, have breathed new life into the idea of open government fueled by technology. At the same time, a new spectre of new cutting edge surveillance states has arisen, where digital autocracies apply filtering, propaganda and tracking technologies to suppress speech, distort public opinion and capture or kill dissidents and protestors. Life is increasingly reflected and refracted by the cameras and screens of ubiquitous smartphones, accompanied by hazy norms around privacy, security and identity and Industrial Age laws and regulations that appear inadequate to the needs of the moment.
In this talk on the power of platforms, Howard will talk about where the principles and technologies that built the Internet and World Wide Web are being integrated into government and society -- and by whom. These new digital platforms for communication, enabled by highly accessible and scalable Web technologies, have reinvigorated the hope that collective action can reforge the compact between citizens and government.
Alexander is the Government 2.0 Washington Correspondent for O'Reilly Media, where he writes about the intersection of government, the Internet and society, including how technology is being used to help citizens, cities, and national governments solve large-scale problems. He is an authority on the use of collaborative technology in enterprises, social media and digital journalism. He has written and reported extensively on open innovation, open data, open source software and open government technology.
He has contributed to the National Journal, Forbes, the Huffington Post, Govfresh, ReadWriteWeb, Mashable, CBS News' What's Trending, Govloop, Governing People, the Association for Computer Manufacturing and the Atlantic, amongst others. Prior to joining O’Reilly, Mr. Howard was the associate editor of SearchCompliance.com and WhatIs.com at TechTarget, where he wrote about how the laws and regulations that affect information technology are changing, spanning the issues of online identity, data protection, risk management, electronic privacy and cybersecurity. He is a graduate of Colby College in Waterville, Maine.