Open Gov West is a very cool conference coming up in Seattle at the end of the month. Bringing together technologists, civic engagement organizations and governments, the conference is designed to “facilitate regional collaboration and share best practices across open government initiatives”. The concepts of open government have been very prevalent lately in forums such as The Economist and with the publication of the new book “Open Government”
Innovative governments and agencies are taking advantage of new technologies to create a different relationship with citizens. Rather than a limited and one-way flow of information, open governments create an environment for collaboration and conversation with citizens. Where citizens can not only access and make use of public information, but in turn influence government policy.
In an interesting twist, the two days of the conference take very different approaches. The first day is targeted mostly at government representatives and leaders of open government initiatives and takes a fairly traditional approach with keynotes and breakouts.
The second day brings in “Citizens, technologists, designers, academics, social entrepreneurs, policy wonks, political players, and government employees” and is built around the unconference format with some pre-determined sessions, but lots of room for anyone to propose a new session on the day. I had a great experience with this type event when helping to organize Vancouver Change Camp last year and the energy and ideas released have to be seen to be believed!
Register here and please pass on to your networks. Hope to see you there!