A global discussion on open government

Tuesday, September 20, 2011 | 10:14 AM

Open government is an important, timely topic -- rarely go through a day without interacting with public data or government services, whether it’s checking the weather or taking public transit. Today, we’re joining 46 governments from all corners of the world to launch the Open Government Partnership and establish openness as an essential pillar of 21st century governance.

You can watch a live stream of today’s sessions on Google’s YouTube channel.

As part of today’s conversation, we’ll be talking about three elements of openness. The first is the power of people. We fundamentally believe in the capacity of people to innovate and create change, and the people around the world leading open government efforts are shining examples of how reform can happen.

The second is the power of trust. In our global economy, trust is an invaluable currency -- consider it a killer app in the digital age. Trust is critical to the relationship between the institution and the individual. And the establishment of trust starts with transparency. The more open governments are with their citizens, entrepreneurs and partners -- the better opportunities they create, and the more successful societies they build.

The third is the power of open systems and technology. We fundamentally believe that open systems win, as our colleague Jonathan Rosenberg has talked about before. Open systems lead to more innovation, resources, and freedoms for citizens -- and a vibrant, competitive ecosystem to create jobs and grow our economies.

Open systems - which include a myriad of policies and practices along with open standards, open source technology and open information - have already shown the potential to spawn industries and bring increased creativity, better commerce and more effective decision-making across our respective sectors and communities. They establish meritocracies that harness the intellect of the people and spur sectors to compete, innovate, and win based on the real value of their ideas, products and services.

We believe that open systems are the way for us to have the broadest impact for the most people, in their power to deliver information, and in the power of information to do good -- to inspire enthusiastic innovators who will seize on opportunities and create inventions that will benefit people in ways we can’t yet fathom.

We applaud the efforts of all people, countries and organizations working on transparency -- and we hope today’s launch reaffirms the power of openness.

Posted by Ginny Hunt, Google's Public Sector Program Manager


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