Government 2.0 Taskforce » Brainstorming Design by Ben Crothers of Catch Media Tue, 04 May 2010 23:55:29 +0000 en hourly 1 2020 Summit : What might have been Fri, 02 Oct 2009 03:00:23 +0000 Lisa Harvey At the time of the 2020 Summit last year I blogged a lot . It was an unprecedented gathering of thought and optimism and a demonstration of how a grand idea can become a reality, and also a demonstration of how momentum can be lost in the process.

Getting 1000 people to collaborate on ideas for 2 days was a risk. It was well choreographed and the outputs were sanitised for the media. The risks were managed efficiently. But in spite of that it was an enormous outpouring of public voice. The exchange between delegates, the volume of submissions, the satellite events leading up and the online discussion that took place beforehand, all left a deep impression on me and many others.

In many ways it was a Gov2.0 experiment. Crowdsourcing ideas, open discussion, engagement between government and people. It’s flaws were that it was Gov2.0 without exploiting technology and without continuing the discussion.

Before the event we were given access to an online discussion forum. It was a place where stream leaders (if they were interested) posted ideas and started discussions. Some were better than others at this. Some discussion was lively. Many connections were made. But the site was difficult to navigate, late in starting, accessed by few and there were controls over the interaction – for example, we could not interact with members of other streams, which was frustratingly limiting. The most important failing was that the forum was shut down only days after the event. There was plenty of momentum at the time, but nowhere to direct it.

If the 2020 Summit were held today many things would be different and there would be much less tolerance of a lack of online engagement. Before during and after the event Twitter, live blogging and other tools that take events beyond the boundaries of walls, would play a much greater role. Collaboration online for submissions and brainstorming ideas, capturing the conversation in different places, sharing and discussion by a much wider audience would create a stronger interaction between participants and populous, making the whole thing more democratic. A kind of uncontrolled, spontaneous online discussion of it all would occur, which is how it should be.

For me the conversation was the strength of the process, all the conversations. I was happy to have them online and offline with whoever was around to participate.

There was a great deal of focus on the event itself, and the physical gathering of people together was intensely powerful. It created a momentum that simply fizzled out as the transcripts, the notes, the submissions and the discussions were whisked away into the rules and structures of the public service to be processed and analysed.

Eventually a report was released, long after most people had lost interest. It was a bit of an anti-climax really. It was great experiment in open government but not followed with the transparency and accountability that is necessary in true open government.

So I’d say to the Prime Minister, thank you for giving us a voice, for crowdsourcing ideas, for creating an environment of collaboration and innovation. Please do it again, but next time let’s talk for longer, before and after with more people, let the collaboration continue much further into the process with wider participation and use technology to seed conversations everywhere. Let’s turn this first step in participatory democracy into a movement. Let it evolve naturally into something uniquely Australian. Embrace the risk, and see what happens.

Led from the top it could create profound change in the way government engages with the community, and the way the community engages with government.

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Structured brainstorming – suggest ideas and projects for the Taskforce Fri, 04 Sep 2009 09:15:40 +0000 Peter Alexander [Taskforce Secretariat] To some, the title of this post will sound like an oxymoron. Traditionally, offline brainstorming normally occurs in a conference room, with lots of butcher’s paper, whiteboard markers, sticky notes and a degree of chaos. The problem with this approach, however, is that it does not scale.

For those who have attempted to collate hundreds, even thousands of responses to consultations, making sense of these submissions can be expensive and time-consuming, with little transparency of the methods involved.

Fortunately, technology has come to our aid.

Ever since our first post, we’ve been receiving feedback about additional tools that we could use to receive your ideas and suggestions. From today, as Mia Garlick told you was coming, we’ll start using our very own IdeaScale page to capture those ideas and allow others to vote them up and down.

And if you are thinking why are they adding something else to the mix – isn’t this confusing – we hope not – and we are meeting one of our aims which is to try things out and see how they roll.

If you want to enter the competition you will need to give us a valid email address by setting up an IdeaScale account. You can do this by following the instructions below from the terms and conditions:

To create an IdeaScale account, click on the “New Idea” button on the IdeaScale page, then enter your preferred email address and choose the “No, I am a new user” option. You will then be prompted to enter a password of your choice. After doing so and clicking on “Sign Up”, your account will be created.

Your username will be publicly displayed on IdeaScale as the first part of the email address used to create the account (everything before the “@” symbol). The second part of your email address (everything after the “@” symbol) will not be publicly visible, and we will not share it with anyone. Using a pseudonymous email account will not affect the judging of your entry to the competition.

Our first category of ideas will be suitably open-ended…


Reading through the submissions to the issues paper, we’ve observed some fascinating, and occasionally recurring, proposals for Government 2.0 projects. Now that submissions have closed, we’d like to hear what you think of others’ project ideas.

Alternatively, if you weren’t able to make a detailed submission to the response, you may want to propose a new project idea (one or two sentences is often enough), or vote others’ project ideas up or down.

When adding a new idea to the “brainstorming” category, we’d encourage you to consider answering the question:

“How can the Government 2.0 Taskforce best meet its Terms of Reference?”

Category Prize

The Taskforce will select the best brainstorming ideas and award cash prizes of $1000. The best ideas may even become projects that the Taskforce will pursue and if we do we may give the person who made the idea first chance to undertake the project.

Entries for the competition are due by 5pm September 20, although after that we’ll leave the IdeaScale page open and running for continued discussion and participation.

Note that all submissions will be subject to the IdeaScale Competition Terms and Conditions.

Visit Government 2.0 Taskforce Ideas – Brainstorming

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