London, New York, Parramatta
It’s a competition for kids to create an infographic or poster that explains the process of becoming the President of the United States.
Not only will the winner receive a cash prize, but their poster will be distributed to schools and libraries across the country.
What a wonderful example of Government 2.0!
It’s not just about engaging the public and empowering them to participate; it’s also about educating our children.
<insert warm fuzzy feeling here>
This got me thinking about Government 2.0 efforts closer to home.
Indeed, four federal offices have launched a Government 2.0 initiative in the past couple of years.
Curiously, however, all were launched prior to the declaration and none since!
The State Government appears to be in “thinking about it” mode.
Apart from the ever adventurous Powerhouse Museum and a Government 2.0 in NSW event last year, ten or so minutes of googling on my part couldn’t find any other Government 2.0 initiatives sponsored by New South Wales.
OK, I didn’t try very hard, but it shouldn’t be that difficult… right?
That would defeat the whole purpose!
Think global, act local
I was pleasantly surprised to find ParraConnect – a new “connected city and community” framework designed to link existing programs as well as foster the development of new digital initiatives in the local public sphere.
Hmm… sounds interesting.
Plenty of progressive ideas are touted on the website, such as:
Wireless CBD precinct
Digital economy portal linking local companies, skills, needs, training and opportunities
Hot desk hubs and hyperlocal smartwork centres
ICT training for small businesses
E-Learning for seniors
A smartphone app that finds parking (a big problem in Parramatta!)
Apps4Parra competitions and hackfests.
But who’s to say this isn’t just another case of all talk, no action?
Well I’m heartened by the release of an impressive iPhone app called DigiMacq which scaffolds a self-guided multimedia tour of Parramatta’s historical sites.
These guys are serious.
As both a rate payer and an e-learning & social media professional, I have my own ideas about how the council can act locally to lead the nation (and dare I say the world?) in Government 2.0.
With the right people heeding the right advice deploying the right technologies, I’m sure we can convert the dream of a digitally connected city into a reality.
London and New York, stand aside. Parramatta is coming through!