T20 Ministers Meeting Incredible Success for Government 2.0
I was heartened to hear during my keynote (goto Login Tourism Speakers) and after at the T20 Meeting in Buyeo, Korea, that nations are taking technology adoption to a new level and will continue to drive it from within their national and local tourism bodies.
The Korean organization was particularly aggressive in pursuing new technology adoption to accomplish a number of tasks:
1) They have decided specifically to drive Government as a Platform and understand that without it the level of investment will be insufficient to support the tourism industry. They leverage public-private partnerships in ways I have only dreamed of. Charm Lee, in leading the tourism organizations for the nation is doing an amazing job.
2) They applications are forward thinking and full of rich media interactions. In this app, Korea is far ahead of the rest of the world in brand exploitation, sticky web app penetration and thought leadership. Create your own personalize itinerary based upon your feedback during an interactive movie? Brilliant.
And the audience attracted by this event was impressive. from members of the European Commission, to tourism leaders from nearly every major country on the planet, to the UN, the T20 meeting was an incredible success.
The fine folks at FutureGov (not Dom’s FutureGov) wrote today about Korea’s plans to help out the East African Community (EAC) in their search for better government service through leveraging technology. It is good to see this kind of international cooperation and reuniting of the global eGovernment nation.
As an executive obsessed at times with global cooperation and technology issues I have seen the benefit of these kinds of arrangements. When countries take advice from other countries they admire, the outcomes can be incredible. I have connected Singapore and NATO in the past, China and Russia as well as odd combinations including the EU and Indonesia. Each time the outcomes were incredible and the benefits to the citizens of both countries significant.
I believe that the issues governments have in common far outweigh our differences. We have accepted and acceptable solutions that have been deployed across the globe and when we are each able to take advice from different places as well as offering it in places we wouldnt often think to, we see great things happen.
In particular, as Libya nd the rest of the Middle East/North Africa continue to rise, the opportunity may be enormous. I would ask that each of you think to adopt an area of a newly formed or reformed country to adopt and offer assistance. Whether it is National/Central government or municipal services, each of us has some expertise that we can share. And what I have seen shows me we learn far more than we teach. Keep that in mind.
T20 - Tourism Ministers Meet in Korea to discuss ICT and Government 2.0
As many of you know, I don’t find things effective if we cant measure the success. As I am about to speak at the T.20 Tourism (Dr. Ng Yen Yen discusses it in her blog) ministers Meeting in Buyeo, Korea, I thought a bit of comment and a challenge would be great.
The tourism stats for the past decade from the UNWTO are below.
(unit : thousand)
Reference : UNWTO, Compendium of Tourism Statistics(06, 08, 10), World Tourism Barometer(2010. 6)
As I believe Government as a platform efforts (and Gov2.0 in general) should be measured by real business statistics and not simply ICT related KPI’s it would be great to start having our countries compete strongly on their competitiveness with regard to the amount of tourism interest they generate (or growth of tourism activity).
I say this partly because my pitch today is to connect your Government’s ICT but also to connect your governments general operations. As governments embrace this type of reform, and open government data is a great place to start, we should start to see an impact in this area of interest. As our governments become more open and engaging, the locale will start to attract multiple things: foreign investment, permanent immigration and, yes, increased tourist activity (which is a great boon to the local economies and small businesses located in the country).
So, lets all drive our countries to compete for tourism dollars. And let our cultural prowess be expressed through open government data initiatives targeting the outcome of increased tourist activity instead of just ICT oriented outputs.
While it is unclear what these statements mean, it reminds me of early statements in the thawing of relations near the end of the Cold War and makes me think there may be similar, yet updated, roles for us to play in the Government 2.0 movement.
Two main points:
1) Much of the thaw in Cold War days was due to Eastern Bloc countries and their citizens being exposed to cultural freedoms that had been taken for granted by the West. For inst5ance, rock and roll played a major role in giving folks a view of what was possible if the Iron Curtain were to fall. Similarly here, the potential for the North to see a wide array of openness and citizen-centric systems could generate positive buzz from North to South. From basics of trains running efficiently to citizens having access to public platforms for policy conversations may help to nudge folks toward reunification;
2) Service Delivery versus Government as a Platform: Here is the real opportunity. As the size of income disparity is huge, if reunification were to happen the pressure on the Korean Government would be enormous. The new country would have to treat Government as a Platform to succeed. This may be the best test case for regional cooperation that we could ask for. Developing an investment analysis that allowed the North and South to agree on where to invest in robust platforms, where to commoditize services and how to best leverage the private, non-profit and NGO communities who care could all work together to build an investment model for modern governments.
In short, I think this is an incredible opportunity. Even if it is simply political talk right now, we should take the opportunity to press forward with our mission to provide more open government and government2.0 platforms. Worst case, it just makes South Korea a better country and best case, the potential for a reunified peninsula.