“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…