In the US, social media innovators are changing the way people work and play. In Iceland, these innovators may offer the best hope of rescuing an entire nation.
Iceland emerged in the 1990s as a financial powerhouse after a thousand years on the sidelines of global history. Icelanders became one of the world’s wealthiest and happiest nations. In 2008, three of its banks collapsed, sending the national economy into a tailspin and shattering the people’s trust in government and industry. The government was quickly replaced by one promising transparency and reforms, while a protest party headed by a comedian took control of the Reykjavik city council.
This new cast of politicians is not alone in their efforts to move Iceland out from under the economic cloud. Members of the country's tech and entrepreneurial sector, which saw explosive growth in the lead-up to the collapse, have emerged as leaders in grassroots efforts to set Iceland on a sustainable path. Last year a loosely-organized group calling themselves the Anthill convened a “national assembly” of 1,500 citizens. The day-long event, based on Agile methods and crowdsourcing theory, resulted in a coherent set of values, vision and ideas.
Now the government is planning a similar meeting in preparation for rewriting the constitution. Inspired by open-source processes and leaning heavily on social media technologies, these citizens are rapidly prototyping new forms of democracy utilizing the web and open innovation.
Over the past several years, there have been many discussions regarding how interactive technology can drive change in our nation’s politics – but of perhaps greater importance is how technology can improve the daily functioning of our nation’s government.
The discussion should not be a partisan one – this panel will bring together leading innovators from both parties to engage in a post-partisan discussion about how technology can improve the public’s interactions with their government.
This discussion should be about specifics – we can all agree on the broad principles that technology drives change – but we have all heard that conversation before. This panel will focus on the specific progress that has been made, the specific opportunities that exist in the near future, and the specific challenges that need to be addressed.
As citizens increasingly become on-demand consumers in their daily lives, it is clear that government needs to better utilize interactive technology or it will only be more radically disconnected from the public.
This is not a political conference, which is precisely why it should be where this conversation takes place – how can the innovations from the creative, marketing and interactive communities be applied to improving our nation?
Our government needs to modernize. We need to move forward and debate new ideas, focusing on how we can collectively make our government work smarter, faster and better for all citizens.
by David Kappos
Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property David Kappos is charged with Advising the Secretary of Commerce, and the President of the United States, on all aspects of Intellectual Property policy.
Our nation faces an uncertain economic future. It is clear however, that in order to be successful, America will need to harness the ingenuity, creativity, and innovation of its people—America will need to harness its Intellectual Property.
A sound Intellectual Property system will help support R&D that propels the Green Tech revolution; will allow people to harness the power of digitization and an internet-connected world; and will better ensure the preservation of cultural diversity and drive growth of the creative arts.
Under Secretary Kappos will lay out his vision for the future of the Intellectual Property system and describe its impact on the world’s entrepreneurs, innovators, and creators.
Former White House Deputy CTO and Open Government leader addresses how to use technology to design smaller and smarter government for the 21st century. Bringing innovation to the public sector doesn’t require new legislation or new budgets. It requires changing the default way of working from closed to open.
by Ian Kelso, Sean Kane and Tony Schum
More than ever, governments across the world, at both national and local levels, are working hard to attract the "creative/digital industries". When you're looking for a job, you may not know how much your city, state or even national government often play a role in what companies are hiring in your community.
While traditional economic development has typically meant a scenario like bringing a factory to a rural area, a newer practice involves growing so-called industries of the mind. Canada has led the way, but now many states across America are offering incentives to game developers and other tech-related companies (to say nothing of the massive internal investments by certain countries, such as Russia). The benefits can be tax breaks, loans, grants, tax credits and even free rent to get you and your brain trust to make the move.
This discussion will look at why these sorts of incentives are thought to bring benefit to not just the companies, but to their communities and taxpayers, too.
11th–15th March 2011