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William Eggers: Transition to Gov 2.0

William D. Eggers introduced the term Government 2.0 in his 2005 book, and his research and writing continue to explore issues surrounding the adoption of new collaborative technologies. His broader interest is strengthening the ability of government to manage and implement complex public policy issues.

That’s the theme of his new book, If We Can Put a Man on the Moon: Getting Big Things Done in Government. It tells several stories of how government both succeeded and failed in major initiatives.

In this short video from GovFresh, Eggers emphasizes that the transition to government 2.0, and with it the transparency and collaboration promised by the Obama Open Government Initiative, depends not simply on using new technologies but more fundamentally on changing the thinking and imagination of government leaders.


2 replies on “William Eggers: Transition to Gov 2.0”

changing the thinking and imagination of government leaders

We cannot expect to reform democracy by depending on our leaders to change.

Instead of hoping that the leaders will act in our best interests, instead of their own, we have the chance now to simply surpass the leaders and create real collaborative governance.

Hi, Nigel –

Thanks for your comment. I agree that we can’t rely on leaders to reform democracy as a whole, but I think the context of this quote is narrower than that. It’s about existing leaders – now in power and used to a hierarchical decision system – learning to think and lead more collaboratively and ensure that the new technologies are embedded in government agencies that are now mostly closed to meaningful citizen participation. The pressure to use the new software tools has originated with the citizens who supported Obama – rather than only from him – and who continue to push for collaborative policy decisions. Without that push from the grassroots, we wouldn’t have an Open Government Initiative. It’s going to take a lot of intermediate steps before the metagovernment concept can be fully realized.


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