Demand a more open-source government: Beth Noveck at TEDGlobal 2012

Valid for any country.

TED Blog

Beth Noveck

As the US’s first Deputy CTO, Beth Noveck founded the White House Open Government Initiative, which developed administration policy on transparency, participation and collaboration. She starts her talk by reminding us that in the old days, the White House was literally an open house. At the beginning of the 19th century, John Quincy Adams met a local dentist who happened in to shake his hand. Adams promptly dismissed the Secretary of State, with whom he was meeting, and asked the dentist to remove an aching tooth.

“When I got to the White House in 2009, the White house was anything but open,” she says. Bomb blast curtains covered the windows; they were running Windows 2000. Social media was verboten. Noveck’s mandate: to change this system.

But how could she get government employees to be more open? How to get people to comment on laws before they were enacted? There was…

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Something does not add up in current Canadian politics…

Tom Flanagan and Stephen Harper once wrote:

“In today’s democratic societies, organizations share power. Corporations, churches, universities, hospitals, even public sector bureaucracies make decisions through consultation, committees, and consensus-building techniques. Only in politics do we still entrust power to a single faction expected to prevail every time over the opposition by sheer force of numbers. Even more anachronistically, we persist in structuring the governing team like a military regiment under a single commander with almost total power to appoint, discipline, and expel subordinates.”

But now we’re living through this?

I think something doesn’t quite add up here, do you?