Just this week­end, a major event took place in Wash­ing­ton DC — Gov­ern­ment 2.0 Camp. It brought together 500 thinkers and doers who seek to engage and trans­form gov­ern­ment in such a way as to make the exec­u­tive and leg­is­la­ture more open and respon­sive, more engaged with the pub­lic and to ensure that the pub­lic, pub­lic ser­vants and politi­cians at all lev­els are more able to col­lab­o­rate and engage with each other to make the busi­ness of gov­ern­ment bet­ter in every way.

At the same time, in Can­berra, we held our sec­ond ever Bar­Camp. We even had a Fed­eral Sen­a­tor along in the form of Kate Lundy! More than one talk was about the need to trans­form gov­ern­ment in this way.

Bar­Camp, the US event and our dis­cus­sions were the cat­a­lyst for the cre­ation of Gov­ern­ment 2.0 Camp Aus­tralia. At the moment, it’s noth­ing more than (an already active) Google Group, but we’ll have a web site up this week some time.

So what’s it all about? Well, let’s start with a def­i­n­i­tion adapted from Gov­ern­ment 2.0: Using Tech­nol­ogy to Improve Edu­ca­tion, Cut Red Tape, Reduce Grid­lock, and Enhance Democ­racy by William Eggers:

“Unhyped and there­fore unno­ticed, a cul­tural and tech­no­log­i­cal change is alter­ing the behav­ior and mis­sion of city halls, state­houses, schools, and fed­eral agen­cies across the world. From trans­porta­tion to edu­ca­tion to elec­tions to law enforce­ment (or, as we’re now refer­ring to it, “home­land secu­rity”), this cul­tural rev­o­lu­tion, aided by tech­nol­ogy is trans­form­ing gov­ern­ment and pol­i­tics, slash­ing bureau­cra­cies; improv­ing ser­vices; pro­duc­ing inno­v­a­tive solu­tions to some of our world’s thorni­est prob­lems; chang­ing the terms of the Left/​Right polit­i­cal debate; and offer­ing ordi­nary peo­ple access to a degree of infor­ma­tion and indi­vid­ual influ­ence until recently acces­si­ble only to the most pow­er­ful cit­i­zens, finally redeem­ing the orig­i­nal vision for our democ­ra­cies, and trans­form­ing life and soci­ety in the process.”

Gov­ern­ment 2.0 Camp Aus­tralia, to be held in Can­berra, the national cap­i­tal (soon, but we don’t yet know when or where), will be a BarCamp-​​styled uncon­fer­ence wel­com­ing ideas and opin­ions from across soci­ety at all lev­els — the pub­lic, the exec­u­tive and our politicians.

Join the Google Group to ensure you keep up to date on progress of Gov­ern­ment 2.0 Camp Aus­tralia. And tell any­one you think might be inter­ested — point them here or the group.