In case it hasn’t been obvious I do like things that have open in front of them. It’s an ethos I have been exploring personally and professionally for some time now and generally encourage such ponderings amongst module participants. You ‘enjoyed’ an interesting discussion on Free last week and we contrasted it with the concept of open. To attempt to root our explorations in the current I will draw your attention to the Open Government Partnership meeting that is took place in London this week. As I mentioned in an earlier post Ireland has recently committed to this important initiative and Minister Brendan Howlin will be attending the first summit since Ireland made this commitment. This is an important time for Ireland. Although the Action Plan for Ireland remains in development following a series of public engagements over the summer, there is gathering momentum amongst citizen groups to inform the eventual Action Plan.
In conjunction with this meeting the Smart Cities citizens group released a series of 23 short essays offering a series of snapshots reflecting of international thought on ‘the potential offered by engaging in open governance and empowering bottom-up social and business innovation. It provides a global perspective on how cities can create the policies, structures and tools to engender a more innovative and participatory society.’
It is an interesting read and I would encourage a quick browse and possibly taking a look at an area that might be of interest to you. There are some interesting things afoot in this space and there are some great opportunities for Ireland to engage in this process. I am also very struck by the Irish Times article at the weekend by Fintan O’Toole (love him or hate him) where he contends that Ireland succeeds at the community level but fails as a society. It’s a very thoughtful read and offers an interesting reflection on many of the themes emerging in this participatory democracy arena.