For those of you who don't follow my SlideShare account, this was the Keynote presentation I gave at the recent GOVIS conference in Wellington, New Zealand. Because the video doesn't currently embed:

1. The Day of the Longtail By Michael Markman, Peter Hirshberg, Bob Kalsey; Produced for The Computer History Museum

2. What the Heck is BarCamp? by Ryanne Hodson & Jay Dedman (I always frickin' cry at the end of

3. Transit Camp on CityTV

Funny things happen that change everything. And they happen in a second and, sometimes, for no apparent reason. And sometimes, as I stated in my earlier post, bad stuff happens alongside the good and good stuff happens alongside the bad. I think it was another 'Momism' that said, "When one door closes, another one opens." So, when a really sad thing led me to be to be subbing in to present at the GOVIS conference in New Zealand, I took it as a huge door opening. I took the opportunity to talk about all of the things that I'm really, really passionate about. To speak of the changes I really dream about.

I spoke of the building blocks we know and love: Coworking, BarCamp, OpenID, Microformats, Creative Commons, etc. as well as real, crucial examples of how we should apply the idea of open data to the lives of our citizens:

  1. healthcare records being openly accessible and wikified for the patient
  2. communication and information exchange in regards to our childrens' education to be a fully accountable (parent-teacher-student-administration) open dialogue
  3. the government as an open, extensible, secure platform for local business.

These aren't 'nice to haves', these are ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL.

Once you imagine the possibility, it's really tough to be okay with the way it is today. Believe me, I'm really revved up to move this forward. Since I've made this presentation, I've been invited back for a second keynote address to another branch of the NZ government, been contacted by someone in the Australian government who wants to find out more, and been introduced to people who are doing similar work in Canada.

And I know that there are many of us around the world who are thinking this way. All of our small pieces, loosely joined are culminating into more and more pressure to rethink antiquated systems of top-down control over information...especially since we have such a wealth of it at our fingertips. With every door opened/closed, we discover new possibilities. Every butterfly among us who flaps her/his wings add to the storm that is brewing.

As with all of my material, this is published under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike (by-nc-sa) License, so please, spread it. Mash it up. Change it. Add to it. It is available for full download at Slideshare and I am happy to send you my original document if you would like that, too. More ideas, based on your experience in whatever country you reside in would be great, too. In my experience, our public services have the worst user experience ever, but they will only improve with our input. I encourage you to read up more on what went down at TransitCamp in Toronto and attend, if at all possible, the upcoming OpenCities event June 22-24, for examples of how we can all work together for change.