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“Us Now” : A documentary you should watch…

Seeing as how this is a blog that deals in large part with “Government 2.0” issues, I figured it would only be appropriate to mention something about the CSPS panel discussion I participated in last week. The topic was Mass Collaboration, Government & Internet, the catalyst for the discussion being the screening of a new documentary from the UK entitled “Us Now“.

Panel members in addition to myself included:

The official description of the film is as follows:

“Us Now tells the stories of online networks that are challenging the existing notion of hierarchy. For the first time, it brings together the fore-most thinkers in the field of participative governance to describe the future of government.”

A comprehensive debrief of the movie and subsequent discussion is summarized brilliantly by Richard Akerman in this blog post of his.

If you’re too lazy to read, you can watch the preview right here…

In terms of my own thoughts (in addition to Richard’s summary), I am simply thrilled to finally see the social media/government 2.0 discussion shift into second gear here in Canada. I don’t just mean that from this one speaking engagement, but rather from the sheer volume of government social media related proposals and speaking requests I have received as a consultant over the course of the last 6 months in particular. Naturally, our neighbours down south had quite a bit to do with the adoption of web 2.0 buzzwords in the Canadian political sphere, however i am referring to the bureaucratic side of government; the side that gets things done (or is supposed to anyway). Change really is happening even though you may not see it at the individual level just yet. It will take time, but those of you that understand the typical speed of the government machine know that in relative terms, things are progressing quite fast.

Case in point, have a look at the new additions to the Government 20 Best Practices Wiki , when you’re done doing that, learn about the ChangeCamp initiative, which is essentially:

“an event format, an open community and a set of tools and ideas designed to give citizens and governments the ability to work collaboratively in new ways to make change and to better address real-world challenges in our communities.”

The Ottawa version of ChangeCamp is being organized right now, so join in and participate!

As for the CSPS discussions, we have begun preliminary talks of offering very specific training sessions through the school on various social media topics as they relate  to government. Stay tuned…

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  1. […] I was skimming through my RSS feeds and one of my favorites had an update:  Mike Kujawski’s Public Sector 2.0 blog. Mike gets social marketing (the real kind), and he is also a savvy social media professional as […]

  2. We’ve only scratched the surface with the use of social media. That being said, I’m not sure if it will be accepted to use in governing, at least not any time soon.

  3. Baby steps…look at the various government 2.0 initiatives occurring all around the world! Social media governance won’t be a replacement for representative democracy, however it will dramatically alter government-citizen interaction and the delivery of programs and services.

  4. Dear Friends

    I’m the Acquisitions Co-ordinator of an independent, free-to-air TV
    station based in the Western Cape. Cape Town TV would like to propose a
    system that provides exposure to [both local and international]
    independent filmmakers. Please take a read and should any questions arise just pop me a mail.

    Best Regards

    Lendyll Naicker


    Cape Town Television (CTV) is a non-profit organization established as a
    community television service to serve the greater Cape Town metropolitan
    region and has been broadcasting since September 2008. CTV is interested in
    all genres of filmmaking and encourages filmmakers to submit their films for

    Access to film festivals in Cape Town have generally been very limiting
    to the majority of people living here- owing to where cinemas are based and
    the cost of attending the screening. As such, Cape Town TV would like to
    propose a system that will take independent media to the small screen.

    We are encouraging filmmakers to use CTV as a medium through which
    independent work can be showcased, whether it is shot on cell phones,
    consumer video cameras or more high-end cameras. We have a potential
    audience of 2.5 million people living in our footprint. We do not limit our acquisitions to local films but also actively seek national and international content

    CTV is committed to providing local audiences with independent,
    alternative media that would promote freedom of expression and access to
    information. This would in turn empower people to tell their own stories. We
    are not in the position to pay licensing fees currently, but we do provide
    non-exclusive broadcast. A ten second sting with contact details could be
    attached at the start and end of all content received, providing filmmakers
    with added exposure and a platform to market their work.

    More information on the channel is available on our website

    Send your DVD (Marked Cape Town TV Film Fest), as well as a signed
    Letter of Consent, allowing Cape Town TV permission to broadcast the
    content, non-exclusively, and for a period of 24months to:

    Lendyll Naicker
    Acquisitions Co-ordinator
    P.O Box 13863
    Cape Town
    South Africa

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