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Open Government Canada – Achieving the Millenium Development Goals

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As part of launching the ‘Open Government Innovation Network‘, I have also started the process of organizing a conference for here in Toronto :

Open Government Canada – Achieving the Millenium Development Goals.

If you’re interested in participating, just reach out to me or join the Linkedin group.

Transformational policy leadership

As well as covering the main component parts of Open Government, like Cloud Computing, open source software, open data and open innovation models, it will direct these towards a headline theme of ‘Achieving the Millenium Development Goals’.

While these new technologies are all very cool, it’s really the political policy leadership that drives its adoption that’s the critical success factor of what benefits it will bring. The social organization iFOSSF is sponsoring the work and their remit is how these new systems might be applied towards these MDGs, and replicated via Open Solutions.

The MDGs have a deadline of 2015, and as recent Canadian news highlights these are easily missed.

This week Campaign 2000 released their report showing that, like many other countries, Canada has made no progress in tackling poverty. Started in 1989 to address child poverty in Canada they’re reporting next to zero progress twenty one years later. As this news highlights it’s actually getting worse, key social groups like the elderly and single mothers increasingly are suffering from this torture, and the divide between rich and poor continues to grow.

Despite its vast wealth and modernity Canada still lives with the shame that one in ten children today live here in poverty.

Open Government Innovation

This is why initiatives like Open Government Innovation are key.

If the current policies have failed to achieve any success then clearly new ones are needed. Cloud-powered Open Government is key because not only it itself a new and innovative policy, but it can play a role in creating and sharing others too.

How new policy ideas are conceived, trialled and replicated globally can be accelerated through Open Solutions on Cloud platforms.

Like the Peer to Patent case study these technologies can reinvent government processes from slow, private activities to Open and agile ones, where the ‘wisdom of crowds’ is leveraged to bring much more brain firepower to each situation.

The technology can be used to brainstorm the ideas and then also to implement the new models conceived, in a manner that is much cheaper and more efficient than the traditional systems that are currently used, cost so much more and are so bureaucratic.

The most painful part is the solution ideas are out there. Ideas for models like the Guaranteed Annual Income offer the real potential to do something about the situation right now for these poor people, but currently there is a lack of the political will supporting their trial and adoption.

We can change that.


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