The Power of Information


British Cabinet Office Minister Tom Watson discusses the Power of Information report and its implications. "Free up data - liberate talent and catalyse creativity. Engage - bring people together using simple tools and you empower."

From the report:

This is an unusual review in that it is a story of opportunities rather than problems. It takes a practical look at the use and development of citizen and state-generated information in the UK...Public sector information underpins a growing part of the economy and the amount is increasing at a dramatic pace. The driver is the emergence of online tools that allow people to use, re-use and create information in new ways...

...This is the first review to explore the role of government in helping to maximise the benefits for citizens from this new pattern of information creation and use.When enough people can collect, re-use and distribute public sector information, people organise around it in new ways, creating new enterprises and new communities. In each case, these are designed to offer new ways of solving old problems. In the past, only large companies, government or universities were able to re-use and recombine information. Now, the ability to mix and 'mash' data is far more widely available.

It's a long report, but worth the investment of some time.

Micah Sifry: "[I]magine a Member of Congress making a similar speech on how technology can radically reinvent government. Imagine one of our presidential candidates making it (even Barack Obama, who has done the most thinking on this topic.) You can't. But maybe, if we pay more attention to our cousins across the pond, soon someone will."


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