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Applying the New Capitalist Manifesto to Open Government

Posted on by Stephen Collins in Featured | 6 Comments

As a part of the research work I’m doing for my book, I’m reading radical economist, Umair Haque‘s, The New Capitalist Manifesto. In it, Haque posits a set of Laws for the 21st Century business and describes something that, though referred to in the book, is laid out elsewhere as The Meaning Organisation. Given my deep interest not only in the business innovation Haque’s book argues for, but also in open government, I’ve been thinking about how these laws might be modified to fit a world of open government, fit to govern for the future. Certainly, government around the world operates much like the dinosaur businesses Haque argues against. Much governing, and indeed politics, is done in the cause of expediency, for a quick fix or to quiet a restive citizenry or opposition. While the overall aims of most democratic government may be worthy, governing is rarely done with generational social …

AGIMO releases Government 2.0 Primer

Posted on by Stephen Collins in Featured | Comments Off on AGIMO releases Government 2.0 Primer

It’s taken several months from inception to release, and it’s undergone a number of changes and additions since I last saw it, but a project acidlabs contributed to for AGIMO several months ago – The Government 2.0 Primer – has finally been released. And with an appropriately open license of CC-BY, no less! It’s a piece of work that I’m particularly proud to have had a hand in, as I think it adds real value and substance to the corpus of Australian (and potentially international) Government 2.0 thinking. A great number of people, both here and overseas,  helped acidlabs prepare our contribution to the Primer. Most particularly, I’d like to acknowledge case studies, head-checks and read-throughs from the following people: Reem Abdelaty, Local Government and Shires Association of New South Wales Nathanael Boehm, Department of Human Services Dom Campbell, FutureGov Madeleine Clifford, Department of Health and Ageing Allison Denny-Collins, Australian Customs …

Open government in a Wikileaks world

Posted on by Stephen Collins in Featured | 3 Comments

This item was written for Government Technology Review and will be published in the December 2010 edition. There’s an uncomfortable feeling in the open government world at the moment. Many of us, keen to see the agencies we work for and with embrace a more open way of doing their work – sharing information, data and policy-making with an interested public and other agencies – continue to strive to bring our colleagues, employers and clients into the world of open government. On the flip side of the coin (or maybe not), we have organisations such as Wikileaks revealing large volumes of formerly confidential information (sometimes it’s at higher classifications, which makes it more problematic). Unsurprisingly, some organizations (and the people in them) express valid concerns about mass scale leaks and the revelations they could hold if someone like Wikileaks obtained them and chose to release them. They see these concerns …

One to watch

Posted on by Stephen Collins in Featured | 4 Comments

SmartCompany and noted Australian business journalist, Brad Howarth, have included acidlabs in their list of Australia’s 25 top business blogs. That’s quite the call, and we’re especially proud of being included. Whether we’re working with clients, writing about our views, delivering conference talks or organising events like TEDxCanberra, we focus on being informed and informative and to making a difference to the organisations, businesses and people we touch. Thanks!

What now for Government 2.0 in Australia?

Posted on by Stephen Collins in Featured | 3 Comments

Now that government has been formed, we get to return to business. This raises some real questions for those interested in Government 2.0 and open government in this country. Given Labor has been returned, albeit in a singularly interesting and different form, the work of the last 18 months to reform government in Australia can continue. In her speech yesterday, the Prime Minister declared hers would be one of the most “open and accountable” governments Australia has ever had. Coupled with the Declaration of Open Government, this bodes well, but the Australian people, especially those of us actively interested in these things, should hold the government accountable for this declaration. This shouldn’t be too hard. I don’t believe these were empty words; I really do think that this government, and the APS, want to be more open. We’re in a good position for a renaissance. Now that we have some …

Government 2.0…it can be a reality

Posted on by Stephen Collins in Featured | Comments Off on Government 2.0…it can be a reality

Australian public policy blog, Unleashed, published by our national broadcaster, the ABC, has a new piece by me entitled Government 2.0…it can be a reality on what it would take to transform government to really get Government 2.0 right. At around 800 words, it doesn’t go deep. It’s just the first of several pieces I intend writing on this theme. I’ve reproduced the article below should you wish to comment here, though I’d be glad for your comments and criticisms either at Unleashed or here. Since coming to power in late 2007, the government has run a consistent agenda of public sector reform. Beginning with the amendments to the Freedom of Information Act to encourage a pro-disclosure model for the release of public sector information (PSI), there has now also been the report of the Government 2.0 Taskforce, PM&C Secretary, Terry Moran’s blueprint for public sector reform and the Australian Public Service Management Advisory Committee …

Government response to the Government 2.0 Taskforce Report – my thoughts

Posted on by Stephen Collins in Featured | 8 Comments

Today, the Federal Government responded to the report of the Government 2.0 Taskforce. While this response has taken rather longer than I would have hoped, that the government has responded in what appears to be an emerging election period, with many policy changes currently in the public eye, means I am more than pleased that the response has taken place. In the spirit of Senator Kate Lundy’s invitation to respond in her announcement today, my response is offered in a similar spirit; I am aware that working with and for the Federal Government is a significant part of the bread and butter that is acidlabs’ business, but nobody and no policy from the government ought be immune to criticism, whether positive or negative in nature. I hope that politicians involved in this process and the public servants working for them read this post and consider these views along with the …

Focussing on the voice of the customer

Posted on by Stephen Collins in Featured | 11 Comments

When we’re designing products, applications and services, we always bang on about how important it is to consider the customer, or user (I’m going to use those terms interchangeably in this post). But just how much do we really consider them? And how often do we compromise in favor of some product or business limitation? While I realise (abundantly so) that we can probably never create the perfect product or service, I’d like to argue in this post that the primary consideration we need to focus on as user experience designers, service designers, marketers or whatever, is the voice and view of the customer. I don’t think it happens nearly enough, nor well enough. And, truth be told, I’m as guilty as anyone of this. Let me set the scene. You’re designing, or redesigning your product or service or your web site or your bricks and mortar store (or doing …

Much promise, many miles to travel – my thoughts on the Government 2.0 Taskforce draft report

Posted on by Stephen Collins in Featured | 7 Comments

The release earlier this week of the draft report of the Government 2.0 Taskforce has the potential to be a watershed moment in the management and delivery of government and its services to the people of Australia. I find it more than a little interesting that after not much more than passing interest in the Taskforce’s work from anything except the Australian technology media, the mainstream media has now picked up the story and seems fascinated. It’s also more than a touch humorous that the report from Australia’s leading financial newspaper, the Australian Financial Review, had to be copy-pasted into a post at the Taskforce blog because of the AFR’s ridiculous and reader-unfriendly paywall. Others, both in the public sector and external to it have voiced the view that the report is well written, addresses all the right issues and suggests a number of well-considered approaches to the problems of …