ICT
August 12, 2014

A renewed approach to civic engagement

On July 2nd, Richard Pietro packed up his things and set forth on a Cross-Canada journey on his motorcycle. He describes his 20+ city tour as “changing Canada by exploring it” – spreading his passion for Open Government, Open Data and Civic Engagement by facilitating dialogue with citizens.

His focus is on education and bringing new voices to the Open Government/Open Data conversation.

In each city, Richard and a City Champion organize creative events where citizens, public servants, students, developers and corporate representatives are invited to participate in a discussion around how they can improve their community through the Open Government movement.

The Open Government Tour serves as a springboard for individuals to learn, discuss, connect and share. Each event is just the beginning – the rest is up to participants to build on these conversations and determine ways that they can make a difference in their own communities.

Richard’s passion for Open Government is undeniable. “I like to say that Open Data is a 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 by both government and citizens that will create a much more collaborative and productive relationship, in which to build trust and to create environments where everyone can work together,” he says.

I embraced my role as City Champion for the Charlottetown event on July 22nd and hosted Richard in my beautiful city. We had outstanding speakers from MaRS Discovery District, Fusion Halifax, GovCampus and the City of Toronto – sharing their vast knowledge and experiences while providing examples of effective open government initiatives that could be adapted or duplicated in most cities.

One of the objectives of the tour is to frame civic engagement as Art – as a product or creation that results from the passion of each community. Seth Godin once said that “Art isn’t only a painting. Art is anything that’s creative, passionate, and personal. And great art resonates with the viewer, not only the creator.” Each City Champion was challenged to bring art to the event in one form or another – I tried to get artists to attend the Charlottetown event but competing with tourism season and warm weather I compromised. I turned the event participants into artists. Not only did we have colourful artwork at the end of the evening, their mandala creations doubled as a concentration piece. When the participants’ minds were busy designing their mandalas they could focus completely on the presenter and fully absorb what they were learning – as opposed to checking their phones or zoning out from time to time. The mandalas were a big hit and have now become part of the official OGT14 logo, and have since been incorporated into other city events.

Ray Kao from People and Code and Make Web Not War built an online engagement platform around Open Government and Open Data. The site allows individuals to share perspectives and best practices, make connections and partake in conversations about Civic Engagement. As well, Australia’s GovCampus (formerly Gov 2.0 Radio) has a segment on their website called “Accelerating Open Canada” where they are covering the Tour.

Richard is approaching the midpoint of his tour and is heading West. He has made a conscious effort to explore the uniqueness of each city, travelling the back roads, camping and couch surfing, documenting his journey through photographs, videos and weekly updates. Richard has been spreading his enthusiasm for Open Government to those he meets along the way.

If the opportunity arises, I encourage you to attend an Open Government event in one or more of the remaining cities in the Tour. For those in the National Capital Region, don’t miss the Grand Finale event on Democracy Day, September 16th from 6:30-9:00pm at City Hall. If you would like to learn more about the Open Government Tour, sign up for Richard’s weekly update via his blog and follow his journey on Twitter by searching #OGT14.

About this author

0 comments

There are no comments for this post yet.

Be the first to comment. Click here.

ICT
 
Leadership, service delivery, change management, performance measurement, big data, transparency, digital...
 
Disruption, for the most part, always used to be seen as...
 
While most of my focus here is on IT and digitization...
 
When data.gov launched in May of 2009, the site seemed to...
 
In 2017, identity theft cost Americans $16.8 billion, and, in just...
 
Risk management is top-of-mind for many organizations and executives. It seems...
 
Most articles you’ll read within the pages of Canadian Government Executive...
 
Today’s global and local environments require public servants at all levels...
 
For over two days at the end of January this year,...
 
Canadian Government Executive (CGE) media team is excited to announce a...
 
Today on CGE Radio, John Jones interviews Alex Miller the President...
 
Canadian Government Executive is honoured to have Michael Wernick, Clerk of...
 
For many years now, the buzz in government has been around...
 
The adoption of new technologies provides many opportunities, poses unique challenges...
 
Earlier this month I had the privilege of testifying as an...
 
Canadian Government Executive Media, (CGE) publisher of Canadian Government Executive magazine...
 
Public sector managers from all levels of government across Canada increasingly...
 
Does your organization have a very narrow view of what digital...
 
With businesses and government agencies increasingly operating in a highly information-based...
 
Blockchain. There’s probably no other technology trend in recent years that...
 
In the last few years, we’ve seen various federal governments warning...
 
Over the last two years, an ever-growing number of organizations around...
 
Canadian Government Executive is excited to announce the agenda for TechGov...
 
Canadian Government Executive media through its upcoming TechGov event is providing the...
 
Have you ever met a virtual human being? By common definition,...
 
Canadian Government Executive Media (CGE) is pleased to announce its first batch...
 
Canadian Government Executive Media (CGE) is pleased to welcome Microsoft as its Platinum Sponsor for...
 
Innovation is vital in every sector; public service is no exception....
 
Canadian government agencies and departments are modernizing the way they do...
 
In this episode, J. Richard Jones talks about the appointment of...
 
Facebook Pages can be an essential tool for businesses and charities,...
 
The Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA Alliance) is Canada’s One Voice...
 
Over the decades, technology has been grafted into governments around the...
 
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, with its 28 independent member countries...
 
Governments around the world are seeking to tap technologies such as...
 
Yes, according to the former head of the Canadian Security Intelligence...
 
In a little more than a year, Canadian banks and lending...
 
The government is spending $3.5 million to improve an existing immunization...
 
A research project at that explores the design and feasibility of...
 
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunication Commission (CRTC) yesterday heard from several...
 
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today begins a public...
 
The Federal Bureau of Investigation announced that it has managed to...
 
IT organizations, especially those in healthcare facilities and government institutions that...
 
The Ontario government and telecom gear maker Huawei Canada yesterday announced...
 
Huawei is bringing back to Canada and expanding its information communication...
 
The Province of British Columbia is doubling down on deepening its...
 
Last week the Wall Street Journal, citing anonymous sources, reported that...
 
Written By Jason McNaught Contrary to what you may have heard,...
 
The good news is that the Government of Canada recognizes the...
 
In late July, Amazon startled investors with the tiniest of profit....
 
Many Canadian government websites were knocked offline last month including Canada.ca,...
 
High profile individuals are always under scrutiny, especially when it comes...
 
Canada’s penchant for oligopolies is understandable: a vast territory and sparse...
 
The International Open Data Conference kicks off this week in Ottawa....
 
As politicians prepare for the upcoming elections, leveraging mobile devices and...
 
Before the Internet, video was largely synonymous with television, supplemented by...
 
This past August, the Toronto Star reported that in the four...
 
In Budget 2015, the federal government earmarked $58 million over five...
 
Cyber-attacks. From the public perspective, where its a frequent headline, we’re...
 
New technology and the move to mobile are transforming the way...
 
On May 7, British voters will cast ballots and decide the...
 
Team Niew Labs was crowned grand champions of CODE 2015 last...
 
Technology has opened the door. Now governments have unprecedented opportunities to...
 
Canadian Government Executive Media (CGE) announced today that Patrice Dutil has...
 
Canadian Government Executive Media (CGE) announced today that Patrice Dutil has...
 
For skeptics, Google’s recent decision to abandon sales of its current...
 
And then there were 15. Of 125 apps built from open...
 
After early success as a world leader, Canada’s e-government performance has...
 
If you missed the Digital Governance Forum, hosted by the Institute...
 
Digital and mobile technologies are transforming politics, especially the ways in...
 
Adobe is encouraging public sector organizations to take a big leap...
 
There are, of course, thousands of public servants who deliver services...
 
It’s a well-known fact that websites are driven by content. Public...
 
Each year, IBM makes five bold predictions about technologies that “will...
 
During a panel discussion held at GTEC 2014, senior executives from...
 
Westminster parliamentary democracies like Canada’s are widely credited with a high...
 
There was a time when reporters played a significant “gatekeeper” role...
 
In what ways are digital culture and technology affecting our democratic...
 
Connection: governments want it, citizens demand it, technology facilitates it and...
 
How can CIOs set up their teams to be able respond...
 
In both private and public sectors, the management of information has...
 
Our annual GTEC conference, exhibition and distinction awards wrapped up at...
 
Canada Post’s phasing out of home delivery in many urban dwellings...
 
As Canadians, it’s in our DNA to be helpful and to...
 
The role of today’s Chief Information Officer is one of technical...
 
When you think of email management, you probably envision a pristine,...
 
Every member of society craves information that is clear and accessible....
 
A study done by the Social Science Research Network looked at...
 
A significant challenge for Canada in the digital government era is...
 
With its ability to continually evolve and innovate to meet and...
 
As a municipality that truly believes in fostering a culture of...
 
The Green Governance Award won by the City of Grand Prairie...
 
Ottawa’s GTEC 2014 event is in full swing, and its theme,...
 
Social media presents new challenges for all organizations and for government...
 
GTEC honoured the best in government information and communications technology Monday...
 
Fifteen years ago, citizen-centric e-government drove transformation efforts. Today, the new...
 
In Canada’s public sector, the rise of Big Data has meant...
 
For those interested in open government, October could shape up to...
 
In an increasingly connected and fast-paced world, much has been made...
 
More and more of us are watching high profile events such...
 
Is there a gamified approach to citizen engagement by the public...
 
The act of linking people and ideas through communication and relationship...
 
Claims of a social media transformation in politics and government are...
 
For the past two-three years, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) has...
 
On time, on budget and in scope! How often do you...
 
On July 2nd, Richard Pietro packed up his things and set...
 
Marissa Mayer, the CEO of Yahoo, created a stir in the...
 
Nine former members of the CBC board of directors were reported...
 
The government of Canada is in a constant state of evolution...
 
With a seemingly ubiquitous Internet and mobile devices at every turn,...
 
Technology is moving at such speeds that at times it seems...
 
In the digital age, companies are more than ever looking for...
 
Open data is gaining momentum. A recent hackathon, supported by federal...
 
It’s no secret that we’re all rapidly going mobile. The rate...
 
Adobe held its third annual Digital Government Assembly on Thursday at...
 
The world is going mobile and governments must adapt. Underscoring the...
 
Media Sonar is a London, Ont.-based start-up that works with public...
 
To engage and serve their citizens, public sector organizations are looking...
 
The digital age has changed everything-including governments. Citizens expect the same...
 
Ontarians will now have access to court information online, thanks to...
 
The Canadian healthcare system is famously slow to adopt new technologies....
 
The big issue on the table now is big data and...
 
The government of Canada’s 2013 budget pledged to reduce public service...
 
It has long been recognized in the federal public service that...
 
According to a report by the Ottawa Citizen today, the federal...
 
It may not seem immediately obvious, but public safety is an...
 
Border control is an important element of modern society. We live...
 
Health care is one of the most important services that governments...
 
It may not always seem so, but government and business go...
 
Canada has recently witnessed several important debates concerning the Internet’s widening...
 
In 2011, eight countries signed on to an Open Government Partnership,...
 
Public safety has gone through some significant changes since modern technology...
 
With the rise of “smart power,” distinct from “hard” and “soft”...
 
How much is your property worth? In times past, you would...
 
It has been estimated that each year the Wheel-Trans Department of...
 
Recordkeeping requirements designed for the work environment of the 1990s are...
 
As all eyes turn toward Russia for the Winter Olympics, the...
 
The same power of digital communication that is disrupting the commercial...
 
In August 2013, Shared Services Canada (SSC) posted a notice on...
 
Over the last few months there has been tremendous speculation in...
 
The Royal Canadian Mint has been busy developing a new digital...
 
At the end of November, the Council of Europe hosted the...
 
Do you think technology is something that should be ubiquitous in...
 
commentEmail””:””peter.karwacki@servicecanada.gc.ca”” Related posts: Battling the complexity of a...
 
Governments have taken a page from their private counterparts and started...
 
There is no doubt that advances in information technology have paved...
 
When a public sector IT project is featured on Saturday Night...
 
In 2013, the Canada Revenue Agency won the top honours in...
 
It’s no secret that governments are trying to make social media...
 
It’s hard to believe it’s been just a few months since...
 
Chapter 2 of the Auditor General’s fall 2013 report looks at...
 
In 2001, the government of British Columbia initiated a number of...
 
British Columbia’s Citizens@TheCentre service transformation strategy calls for a shift toward...
 
New technology is changing the way the public service manages offices...
 
The City of Ottawa and a Ryerson University spin-off company called...
 
As a political federation with a sparse population spread unevenly across...
 
As the Canadian government pursues its goal of creating IT efficiencies...
 
Governments have a historical and natural propensity to manage organizations in...
 
Finding federal and provincial agricultural programs and services is just a...
 
As governments seek to improve service delivery for citizens, it is...
 
The CIO Association of Canada, or CIOCAN, is a self-managed, not-for-profit...
 
For the casual observer, openness and transparency are terms that can...
 
Kurt Roemer, chief security strategist at Citrix, was at GTEC 2013...
 
In the past decade, technology has been pushing the boundaries in...
 
GTEC’s theme this year is Agile Government: Open, Collaborative, Mobile. The...
 
Shared Service Canada was launched just over two years ago with...
 
The report in January 2013 of a lost portable hard drive...
 
The government of British Columbia recently launched iMapBC 2.0, an upgraded...
 
This is the best of times for the CIO community. Our...
 
The U.S. State Department, of all departments, has an Open Government...
 
Imagine, for a moment, a world without radio and television (much...
 
The government of New Brunswick has recently taken several steps to...
 
None of us likes the feeling of being watched. This is...
 
Over 80 percent of Canadians are now living in urban areas....
 
You have undoubtedly seen the ad (on TV or YouTube, depending...
 
In the past 20 years, technology has caused a rapid change...
 
Have you ever thought about working from home? Now that most...
 
Researchers led by a network scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of...
 
The government’s increasing reliance on technology to engage with the public,...
 
Cool. Dry. Secure. Since the first data centers came into existence...
 
With cuts in budget, there has been a significant decrease in...
 
PR Newswire contends that silent advertising is sometimes the best advertising:...
 
With the proliferation of social media, governments must ensure they’re taking...
 
This month, the United States government approved Instagram as a social...
 
The federal government has announced that, as of July 2013, all...
 
Sometimes it seems that governments are mesmerized – like deer in...
 
and sometimes to others Related posts: Effective social...
 
What can government learn from the private sector on big data?...
 
Modern Times is the 1936 comedy starring, written, and directed by...
 
CIOs, like others in back-office functions, need to start thinking and...
 
A joint study conducted by Symantec Corp. and the Ponemon Institute...
 
For normal day-to-day work in the office, most people have no...
 
In the midst of cutbacks and crisis, efficiency is vital to...
 
At stake is the evolving apparatus enjoining Canadians with the information...
 
Chances are, when you think about printing you think of large...
 
When Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is asked about his company’s volatile...
 
therefore it is only natural that the workforce will change. Trying...
 
It’s no secret that an organization’s people are critical to its...
 
Government is entrusted with the responsibility to shelter and safeguard a...
 
In the summer of 2012, I realized that if I wanted...
 
As the pace of technological change quickens and the demands on...
 
The authentication model for the Internet is changing. We have hit...
 
If technology is the driver, then the management of information must...
 
Faced with the Newtown tragedy, President Obama has sought to make...
 
February 23rd marks the 2013 International Open Data Hackathon day. It’s...
 
The now, seemingly distant 2012 holiday season proved to be fertile...
 
You’re a government security IT professional and you’ve taken the steps...
 
We built it. They came. They left. The reason? Open data...
 
In 2008, President Obama refashioned American politics for a more digital...
 
With real lives on the line, analytics technology helps improve every...
 
As governments seek transformational change to shift from austerity to agility,...
 
Why is it so difficult for governments to implement an enterprise-wide...
 
Canadians are the most digitally engaged country on the planet, by...
 
In recent months, Apple and Samsung have been clobbering one another...
 
When GTEC begins on November 5 in Ottawa, British Columbia will...
 
Steve Jobs once said: “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a...
 
Why was the IT Shared Services Branch (ITSB) of Public Works...
 
The Ontario Student Assistant Program (OSAP) mobile application is challenging the...
 
commentEmail””:””suebegin4@gmail.com””...
 
With the Treasury Board Secretariat’s release of the Guideline for External...
 
With the initial internet boom of the 1990s now firmly behind...
 
There are several key principles that organizations can use to guide...
 
Governments in Canada know they need to use the Internet better...
 
Our cities are growing at an unprecedented rate. In 1900, only...
 
With the federal public service in a state of budgetary retrenchment,...
 
Web 2.0 is here and it’s only going to get bigger....
 
It’s Saturday afternoon. I’m staring at my dice and a stack...
 
Governments are looking to online as the future of service delivery...
 
Did you know that a lot of white elephants roam the...
 
Call it the little research project that grew....
 
This fall, a select group of American college and university students...
 
In the beginning social media was uncharted territory for the Government...
 
CEOs and CIOs face significant challenges in managing IT budgets in...
 
With healthcare spending typically the single largest component of any government’s...
 
For organizations with aging or redundant IT equipment – like governments...
 
Canadians want smart spending, and to hear about project successes, rather...
 
One of the peculiarities of the 21st century is the correlation...
 
When President Barack Obama campaigns during the coming months for re-election,...
 
As the iCloud takes hold – along with numerous other private,...
 
A new year is a good time to reflect on the...
 
If only it were so. While Shared Services Canada promises simplicity...
 
The securing of a much-coveted majority by Stephen Harper’s Conservatives surely...
 
The federal election campaign has not been particularly kind to cities...
 
Despite the occasional ministerial tweet and public banter about the federal...
 
More than a decade ago, some enterprising folks at Industry Canada...
 
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police are one of Canada’s most critical...
 
Toronto’s new mayor, Rob Ford, has pledged to cut city council...
 
As BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion negotiates with many governments around the...
 
To start with a timeless question: what do woman want? Presumably,...
 
One important consequence of climate change is rising ocean levels. The...
 
Shortly after the Quebec referendum of October 1995 that brought the...
 
As this column goes to print (literally or online as the...
 
Full disclosure – the Conservative government has serious problems with the...
 
Students of public administration struggle with an important contradiction of Westminster...
 
L’opération de promotion à laquelle l’Alberta s’est récemment livrée souligne les...
 
Alberta’s recent branding exercise underscores the tensions and risks inherent in...
 
La plupart des organismes se voient affecter des « directeurs des...
 
With Parliament once again open and a new federal budget in...
 
Two important global events are garnering much attention: the upcoming Winter...
 
The recent scandals plaguing Ontario’s e-health agency carry important lessons for...
 
The Obama administration is appointing “Directors of New Media” for most...
 
Y a-t-il de l’espoir? Une fois de plus, le gouvernement fédéral...
 
Dans le numéro de janvier, Ruth Hubbard et David Zussman nous...
 
In the January issue, Ruth Hubbard and David Zussman discussed the...
 
Combining the digital age with the current climate of financial austerity...
 
The economic downturn and subsequent loss of tax revenues are forcing...
 
Technology has fundamentally changed the way governments and their citizens interact....
 
Poet Rudyard Kipling famously described southeastern Alberta as having “…all hell...
 
As the IT needs of an organization evolve, and existing systems...
 
With 69 percent of IT operating budgets and 54 percent of...
 
From an asset management perspective, Cambridge is tackling infrastructure management with...
 
When Saskatchewan began a Cabinet Modernization Project in 2008, members of...
 
Referring to themselves as the G4, the cities of Ottawa, Toronto,...
 
The first provincial jurisdiction to establish social media guidelines for its...
 
When he was deputy attorney general, Allan Seckel was known for...
 
I’ve spent the better part of the last five years working...
 
Canada’s three national science and technology museums include the Canada Science...
 
In 2008, a project was undertaken by the Canada Science and...
 
Web 2.0 is more than a technology shift. It is a...
 
They say the line between love and hate is a thin...
 
Although it is widely recognized that Canada has great strengths and...
 
Moving to a paperless work environment is not as simple as...
 
Many governments and defence departments around the world have recently announced...
 
When citizens are ‘Googling’ for information about tax credit programs, employment...
 
Today’s Web 2.0 technology appeals to the drive to connect with...
 
A complicated doodle in red, green and black depicts frowning faces,...
 
As the showcase province at this year’s GTEC conference, Manitoba highlighted...
 
When the Canadian army and the Department of National Defence set...
 
The UN’s E-Government Survey for 2012 ranks Canada in a tie...
 
Some title Some author
Some excerpt
In the show today, J. Richard Jones talks with Steve Bennett,...