Call to Action: Government as a Platform Globally #gov20 and #opengov

Is This Board the Government 2.0 Opportunity We Need Globally?

I sit on the Board @ the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Public Diplomacy Initiative and we had a great meeting yesterday in Washington, D.C.

Outside of the impressive resumes of all the folks involved, it was a great conversation.  We have a great mission to go after which the Governance committee is finalizing after yesterdays meeting, but will focus upon the need to create an organization that will serve as a Corporation for Public Diplomacy (based roughly upon the remit that the US Corporation for Public Broadcasting has served in their area of expertise).

I was impressed for several reasons.  First, this is seen as an effort that will embrace public diplomacy but by leveraging clearly the channels existing in the private sector.  Second, I came ready to pitch the ideals of Government as a Platform, govcamps and open data initiatives as enablers.  But the pitch was almost immediately accepted as the best way forward.  I expected a fight to get the idea embedded, but the agreement with the position was nearly universal and immediate.  This is impressive and a sign that the eventual organization will be on good footing.  Finally, it has got a great and secure foothold in a document authored by David Abshire, Special Counselor to the US President, President of the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress and co-founder Center for Strategic and International Studies.Abshire is making six policy recommendations in this admittedly draft version of his paper which has a tentative title of, A Public Strategy for Global Engagement.  There are two I want our movement to pay close attention to.  First, he advocates in the draft to “create and fund an independent grant-making Foundation for International Understanding”.  Second, he recommends “enhancing track-two diplomacy”.

Foundation for International Understanding

Abshire calls out “The explosion of digital media technologies is rapidly giving rise to an “always on, always connected” culture around much of the world. To revitalize our nation’s global engagement, we must embrace this new communication paradigm, which is increasingly dominated by “social media” that allow mass collaboration and instantaneous organization with little regard to national borders.”  This alignment of interests with the global government 2.0 movement is the opportunity we have been hoping for.  If our board is successful in creating this organization we would have much needed help in building the platform that citizens throughout the world could leverage to unlock their own power in economies throughout the world.  We have very important decision makers looking to us for ideas on how to structure a new institution that could help shape the platforms upon which new pushes for change could land.

This would be a grant-awarding organization but will also be providing platforms for success.  Instead of building the solutions themselves, I saw receptiveness to pushing awards to the creative masses in the world yearning to provide needed connections, apps and ideas.  We discussed several things which would have been great outcomes from such an effort, but that the group would not need to DO itself (Meedan, Kiva, Changemakers, etc).  In particular the focus was empowering innovators for positive change.

Track-Two Diplomacy

The second vital piece is our support of track-two diplomacy.  Basically, this theory admits that the Government itself does not have the resources or foreign credibility to accomplish many of their public diplomacy objectives.  Specifically called out, and why I was invited to join the Board, is the need to leverage the channels that are underutilized in the private sector (they also mention channels in the Education sector).  I have added to the discussion not just private sector channels, but also civic sector channels including official groups and less structured channels like the multitudes of govcamps, apps contests, churches, unions, activists and others that we could capture the passions from with this effort.  I believe we are seeing a shift in how this global community or movement is being perceived and our time is now to take advantage of the orientation.  This gives us the much needed moment to scale out our efforts to reach citizens who care from every corner of the world.  Track-two diplomacy should, by necessity, include advocacy FROM the people who have traditionally been the object of public diplomacy efforts.

In short, if we build the platform, the world will not only come, but become deeply engaged in building the world the way they each would love to see it.

The call to action:  I will be providing the group a short paper describing what we would like to see the organization do from a programmatic perspective.  Should we sponsor global app challenges?  Should we fund platform building innovations?  Should we sponsor massive investment in global govcamps to foster collaboration, innovation and progress?  I do have opinions but would love to hear more from the folks in the community about how we should respond?  Comment on this blog, DM me (@mattmiszewski) send me an email

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Matt Miszewski has been a leader of incredible teams, that accomplished unbelievable goals - together. From rebuilding an enterprise technology strategy from the ground up as Chief Information Officer of the State of Wisconsin to driving a struggling global sales and marketing team to live beyond their potential and helping take their stock from $45/sh to over $110/sh, I have been honored to take on huge challenges and beat them by building collaborative and high performing teams. I was proud to be a regular speaker on Digital Realty's earnings call each quarter and being able to brief and advise the Board of Directors each quarter. Focusing on our shareholders needs while coupling that focus with the needs of our top customers was the combination the street was searching for and our increase in equity value proves the effort worthwhile. Our focus on total leasing costs, net present value of long term leases, closing the gap on cash performance and elimination of stagnant inventory helped to drive a stalled stock. Most proud of standing up a revenue engine that will be used for decades including a renewed global salesforce, inside sales expertise, demand generation focus, new global Partners and Alliances program, sales operations team and a heightened focus on connecting lead development to sales outcomes (including a new social marketing program, AR/PR, digital presence, brand identity refresh, SEO/SEM and a regular campaigning process). Combining decades of technology leadership with this commercial success creates an incredible package to unleash revenue and hack growth for companies from any industry out there.

6 Responses to “Call to Action: Government as a Platform Globally #gov20 and #opengov”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Alex Howard, Dominic Campbell, Gov 2.0, Mary Davie, mattmiszewski and others. mattmiszewski said: RT @Lebanon20: "Call to Action: Government as a Platform Globally" /by @mattmiszewski via @digiphile #gov20 #opengov [...]

  2. Matt, this is great. One thing a group like this could do in the open data arena is help create and foster standardized open APIs. That is an area where government often doesn’t have the resources, and having more core APIs would benefit developers and consumers of government data. I also like the idea of grants for govcamps.

    • Matt says:

      Dominic and I are working on some ideas for a more formal grant program. Will work on a standard way for us to all advocate for the Open APIs that are needed. Would like to get a coalition built from industry players.

  3. sanchezjb says:

    Matt, you may already be planning to include this information in your paper but I did not see it specifically called out. Given that you state, “the Gov­ern­ment…does not have the resources or for­eign cred­i­bil­ity to accom­plish many of their pub­lic diplo­macy objec­tives,” your paper should identify what those public diplomacy objectives are so that this work is focused, efficient, and effective.

    Secondly, it should identify what the challenges are for each of these objectives.

    Thirdly, what are the information gaps from an information value chain perspective for each one of these challenges?

    Lastly, it might also be helpful if you identify the channels envisioned to address each of these challenges and information gaps. While the first three are needed to provide focus, this last item could be presented as a hypothesis subject to crowdsourced or communitysourced validation.

    The first three items should be viewed as Essential Elements of Information (EEOI) to provide a guiding collaboration and innovation framework for this initiative. The use of the term “framework” is important. You and others may find that as this initiative progresses, insights may emerge that may result in a modification of this framework that will then have a ripple effect across the challenge and information gaps. In effect, this connections framework could be the platform foundation.

    Looking forward to your updates on this important initiative.

  4. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Harold (Hal) Good, Joe Sanchez. Joe Sanchez said: Provided comments to "Call to Action: Government as a Platform Globally #gov20 & #opengov @ #diplomacy [...]

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