I went to last year's Open Source Open Society conference and thought it was a really inspiring, sometimes eye-opening experience. It was a good reminder that there is a world outside of the public sector with a different view of priorities.
Last year the first OS//OS conference sparked lots of discussion and action around open source thinking and how we can apply these principles from software to policy development to teamwork and civic engagement. The connection with the Open Government Information and Data Programme at the conference contributed to prioritising the work on the NZGOAL Software Extension, which was developed in partnership between Land Information NZ (LINZ) and industry experts.
This year the event will expand on this direction and includes 3 professional development workshop streams covering:
- finding tech tools for public consultation and engagement
- using open data for policy makers
- navigating privacy and the cultural concerns about ‘tapu data’
- open licensing
- open data tools
- making teams and organisations more collaborative and participatory.
The conference always brings together a wide community from across government agencies working in data, policy and technology, as well as the wider open source tech community and innovation sectors. We are really excited to be involved again in these kinds of discussions as they help us to shape the things we deliver through Govt.nz and data.govt.nz.
This year will be a rare professional development opportunity for managers and teams across agencies working on policy development, using open data for policy research and decision making, government ICT, technology, open government and civic engagement. If you are working in ICT-enabled transformation across government, then open source thinking is particularly important and you won’t want to miss this.
International draw cards this year include:
- Eric Snyder - executive director of the US Digital Services at the US Department of Homeland Security,
- Audrey Tang- tech innovator from Taiwan who has used open technology tools to facilitate collaboration between industry, civilians and government to ratify new policy,
- Evan Henshaw-Plath - open source advocate who was part of the team behind the birth and rise of Twitter.
There will be strong involvement from local leaders from across sectors, including contributions from Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Statistics New Zealand, InternetNZ , Victoria University of Wellington and innovators from across the tech sector - including a keynote address from Sir Geoffrey Palmer on the next steps for a more accessible democracy.