By Hortensia Pérez Seldner, MPA 2014
Collaboration, Peer production, Peer networks, Crowdsourcing….the more I read about these topics the more I understand the enormous opportunities for social development and governance that are already out there. But at the same time, there are some new challenges to address.
For every new concept introduced in Government 3.0 I have the same reaction. First, I am all confused about it. Second, I start to understand it, but at the same time it always looks kind of utopian or not really applicable in the government field. And finally, I find some practical examples and ideas that allow me to think that these concepts are in fact both interesting and feasible.
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Steven Johnson’s book Future Perfect illustrates the magnitude of peer production and peer networks with some fascinating examples. Probably the ones that I like the most are those examples related to social development, and also those that do not necessarily include the use of technology. I am aware of the impact of technology in this matter, but I am also curious about innovative solutions in contexts with less technological development.
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Undoubtedly, collaboration is the key for starting new forms of governance, but: why would citizens want to participate? In the class readings and additional research I found that some reasons could be recognition (or some kind of credit), self-recognition, networking, sharing knowledge, improving one’s own abilities, and of course, a pure interest in helping solve a problem. But I am still not sure about how to motivate participation in government initiatives.
From what I learned, crowdsourcing is really common in some fields. But the challenge is to get people with knowledge in different fields to participate in the analysis and solution of public issues that previously had been the total responsibility of government agencies.
Phi Beta Iota: This is precisely what an Open Source Agency (OSA) would do, leveraging M4IS2.