Open Government Matters To Everyone

I had the chance today to do a virtual keynote presentation via Microsoft Lync 2010 at Portugal 2.0 taking place Lisbon to more than 500 leaders about the power of open government in partnership with Microsoft. Simply amazing! My Microsoft partners, Rodrigo Becerra, @foubourg, along with his associate, Ciara Cottrell, @CiaraCottrell, worked with us to create an interactive presentation based on how Portugal can regain its greatness in the world based on three simple principles of open government.

What was so exciting to the attendees was that it was clear that all governments, and their citizens could benefit from these three principles – transparency, collaboration and participation. Portugal 2.0 was just the latest in a series of Microsoft co-sponsored events which, over the past year, have taken place in Mexico, Colombia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand and the US.

As part of the presentation, we profiled a number of case studies where governments in the US and abroad were using today's web 2.0 tools to improve the well-being of their citizens by engaging them in open conversation and collaborative decision making processes to produce collective wisdom and insights that were previously untapped. The discussion was vibrant and the community participants used these same principles - transparency, collaboration and participation – to interact with each other and share their experiences.

Although open government is just a beginning, I am hopeful that by establishing these three principles governments around the world will understand what works and what doesn't and where to get started (See the presentation at www.slideshare.com/blibert).

From my perspective, it's time to return to our roots – government by the people for the people – so that everyone can achieve their true potential regardless of where they live. Open government is just the beginning.

Follow @Microsoft_Gov_W and the Fixing Potholes blog authored by Matt Miszewski (@MattMiszewski), GM WWPS Government, Microsoft, and our blog at Mzinga to learn more and discover how your country, state or municipality can embrace open government by deploying the right people, processes and technologies to really make a difference.

Cailin Darcy