Open Government in 2018

Pia Waugh

It’s always frustrating seeing the slides from a presentation without the voice which goes with them. Indeed it is a sign of a good presentation that the slides are pretty much incomprehensible without the spoken words they illustrate. That frustration applies to these slides too, but is worth it almost for the title slide alone:

Open that isn’t digital doesn’t scale.
Digital that isn’t open doesn’t last.

There’s more to it than that, of course. But that framing of how to think about the role of government has important implications – most obviously on the weight placed on openness. There is no shortage of pundits describing the need for governments to be digital. Few of them think at all about how being digital (and being in a wider digital context) changes the nature of what government is. If openness is a necessary condition of being digital, digital is only the beginning of what will need to be different.