Leadership and the Future Part 4: Open Data and Open Government
By Lev Gonick, CEO, OneCommunity
—The most subversive and radical public policy we can advocate for is a pledge and commitment from our regional and city government to an open data policy.
We are descendants of a patronizing and bureaucratic government system in which all the challenges of life could be expected to be attended to by some form of benign and omnipotent government authority. In reaction to that history, the political divide is characterized by those who want to slash and burn the budgets of government and those who prefer that we increase the roll of the state in our ever more complex and challenging times.
In truth, if our data were available, all of our data, including government, education, health, and utilities, new service offerings, new community-based interventions, and self-organizing would unfold.
When information was scarce and the cost of distributing that knowledge was expensive, central governments were created to establish a rational model of attending to public need at an efficient cost point.
Today information is plentiful and the cost of distribution is approaching zero. Unleashing our data and committing to open government will make today’s impossible conversations like regionalism and shared services trivial.
Open data will drive new and more responsive relationships between the forms of government we have inherited. We as citizens will be able to engage and interact with our previously non-responsive city halls and regional authorities.
We need leaders who are not afraid of open data and technology.
Previous posts in Lev Gonick’s Leadership and the Future series: