David Bartlett, a recent premier of Tasmania, blogged earlier today on CIO magazine’s website about the vital role Local Governments are playing in innovation and growth within new industry sectors including eDemocracy. He relates a rise in the use of platforms like EngagementHQ to the impact government can have by being prepared to work with new industries.
I agree whole-heartedly with what he has to say not only in that local governments are leading the charge in innovation but also that they are re-imagining and embracing citizen-centric engagement and service delivery. The community engagement landscape has changed immensely in the 5 and some years since we opened our doors and I think we are heading into some very exciting times on this front. Technology and the willingness to use it has certainly given governments the opportunity to listen to their community like never before.
A couple of things I’d like to point out with David’s blog post. He refers to Local Government CIOs (Chief Information Officers) as the main drivers of this innovation charge. I think Local Government CEOs deserve a lot of credit too. By CEOs, I mean Community Engagement Officers! I’ve had the privilege of meeting a few over the years and most recently at Big Bang 2012, our first client conference, on the Gold Coast earlier this year. They are a passionate (and fun) group who have done a lot of work within their organisations to make this rise in adoption of new technologies possible. Give yourselves a big pat on the back, you know who you are!
The other thing I’d like to mention is that there has been plenty of work done by State Governments on this front too. Especially New South Wales and Victorian State Government departments, who are increasingly ramping up their engagement efforts. Here’s a list of those using our platform, http://bangthetable.com/clients/provincial-government/.
And one last thing, this one a suggestion directed at CIO online, David’s blog post mentions a lot of wonderful initiatives, it would have been great to have linked to these. This is a particular bugbear of mine, articles online that do not link to the things they mention. Fundamentally, the Internet was born from this “hyperlinking” (how quaint that sounds now!) between pages. The ability to click through and read more about the topics/events/whatever relating to what one has just read is and should be taken for granted. I am sure our innovative Local Government CEOs (and CIOs) would agree!
Photo Credit: Who’s a nice devil by Gopal Vijayaraghavan