New Brunswick Social Policy Research Network

#OGT14: Building a civic maker movement

There is a growing movement to open government; to advance citizen engagement & create a more participatory democracy, while making data open to drive evidence-based decision making and public service enhancements. On July 23rd NBSPRN hosted the first of a series of events on the subject of Open Government: the 2014 Open Government Tour w/ Richard Pietro at Venn Centre in Moncton.

RBtRCb4_IQAAMLTw.jpg-largeichard Pietro is perhaps an unlikely champion of policy innovation.  A full-time restaurant employee, motor-cyclist from a small town in Quebec.  This Summer Pietro coordinated a cross-country tour to engage citizens in a dialogue and promote open government.  The initiative was organized like a DIY rock tour; relying on local champions to promote it and fans with couches available to surf.  No, Richard is not a policy wonk working on the hill, or a researcher in political science.  Richard Pietro is a passionate, intelligent citizen; a change agent; a cross-pollinating honey bee; an activator, set out to lead citizens to innovate government and create a more participatory and inclusive democracy .

“I like to say that open data is the technology that will give us a more accountable, transparent and engaging government” -Richard Pietro, #OGT14Car&Driver

BtQmjfRIgAASdub.jpg-large For Richard, Open Data (the offering government data in machine readable formats to enable citizens, the private sector, and non-government organizations
to leverage it in innovative and value-added ways
) is the technology that will give us a more accountable, transparent and engaging government. Open government is the willingness to use that technology. It is the culture change required both within our government and our homes that will create a much more collaborative and productive relationship between people and their government, to build trust between people and their government and to create collaborative environments where we can work together”.

Directly on the heals of the NB Digital Future event held in Fredericton on July 22nd, #OGT14 brought together community leaders, citizens, city councillors, entrepreneurs, hackers and academic researchers to discuss the opportunities and challenges of Open Government in New Brunswick. We’re in the midst of a paradigm shift and have new opportunity to change the way we govern.  We are looking for the change makers in government.  Folks like Rob Meikle, CIO with the City of Brampton:

Some tweets from the NB stop of the #OGT14

“Using the example of transit apps, we see that open data and open government allow people to customize their government services.”

“Not just about releasing data, that’s just the tip of the iceberg”

“Still in the first steps of #opendata and #opengov: getting the data”

#Opengovernment is developing programs with citizens not for citizens.

Tonight Richard is on the Hill for the Grand Bazaar and he has a huge movement of citizens behind him. Mr. Pietro has left his mark on the country in the form of a national network of civic makers and govmakers committed to Opening Government for the benefit of all.  On the last day of your tour we at the NB Social Policy Research Network wish to thank you, and congratulate you on a job well done!

Join the Grand Bazaar virtually: 

Join us November 24th and 25th for the GovMaker Conference featuring Beth Noveck, Michael Geist and Paul Macmillan.

Copyright 2013
A Ginger Design