In the build up to Obama’s inauguration on 20th January 2009, The Independent and Debategraph have teamed up to give the world a chance to map and explore what Obama should do next. Click here for the map.
Over the next 10 weeks, Independent readers and the Debategraph team will develop a series of interrelated debate maps of the key policy and political questions facing Obama as he prepares for office.
Whether it’s tackling the global financial crisis, deciding who to appoint to key cabinet posts, or determining how to proceed on climate change, Iraq or the crisis in the Congo, you are welcome to join us in building comprehensive maps of the political choices open to Obama, the arguments for and against the different options, and the path you think Obama should follow.
Each week, we’ll be seeding the maps with an article from The Independent or The Independent on Sunday and beginning to layer in the positions and arguments from the Obama team’s published agenda and public statements.
You can watch the maps evolve in the build up to the inauguration, or better still register and begin to comment, suggest new issues, rate the options and arguments, and add new options and arguments of your own.
I’ll describe the process in more detail over the coming weeks, but for now we have seeded the opening map on The Independent’s website with the arguments from Philip Bobbitt’s article The flag-waving is over. This is how the president can change the world (examining some of the international policy options open to Obama), and Leonard Doyle’s Obama Starts to Build a ‘Team of Rivals’ (considering whether Obama should appoint Hillary Clinton as his Secretary of State).
“Only connect… Live in fragments no longer.” E. M. Forster, Howards End (1910).
The lightweight, collaborative, multiway technologies emerging across the web, and the new patterns of social interaction associated with them, are about to transform the shape of government, our experience of government, and our participation in government. To misquote Clay Shirky: government that’s targeted at you but doesn’t include you may not be worth sitting still for.
But what kinds of government will emerge from this process?
Paul Johnston and the Connected Republic team have been thinking deeply about this, and today published Seven Principles of Government 2.0 that articulate their sense of the ways in which things may be different.
Their suggested principles are:
- A less Hierarchical Public Sector: Government 2.0 will have moved away from command and control, devolving much more decision-making to local units and frontline staff.
- A Collaborative, Joined-up Public Sector: Government 2.0 will offer a more joined-up face to citizens and will use collaborative models and tools to break down silo barriers, maximise the use of precious resources and dramatically reduce process time cycles.
- A Public Purpose Sector: The boundaries of Government 2.0 will be wider and more flexible, enabling creation of public value by a ‘public purpose’ sector which will be much broader and more diverse than the traditional public sector.
- Empowered Citizens: Government 2.0 will enable citizens to do more for themselves, either individually or collectively, as co-producers of services and shapers of public policies.
- A Feedback-driven Public Sector: Government 2.0 will be radically closer to citizens and will give multiple and real opportunities for feedback, and will ensure the feedback has a real impact in shaping its decisions.
- Open and Transparent Government: Government 2.0 will be radically more open and transparent than current models in relation to policy making, service delivery, internal administration and accountability processes.
- Facilitative Government: Government 2.0 will see government’s role shift much more towards creating context, orchestrating and facilitating, rather than controlling and delivering, public discourse and service delivery.
In keeping with the spirit of the analysis, the principles are open for discussion on a new wiki on the Connected Republic site.
On your way over to wiki, you might also like to glance at: Personal Democracy Forum 2008: Rebooting the System, From Wikinomics to Government 2.0 (via Don Tapscott), How Web 2.0 can Reinvent Government, and Liza Sabater’s The Cluetrain Manifesto for People Powered Politics.