My top 3 opengov wishes

Someone asked me today which were my top 3 opengov wishes. What would be yours, for your State?

I would like the government of Quebec to make intelligent and appropriate responses that are expected by the people of this province to face new challenges of our time.

  1. TAKE STEPS TO CHANGE THE MENTALITY in all areas and for all those involved, by LEARNING TO BECOME MORE FLEXIBLE in accepting calculated risks and incidents for what they are. Adopt a vision and new policy plan to take advantage of rapidly developing technologies and changes. Make the necessary changes so that values are changing in depth, which will lead to replace the culture of this government. Analysis of types of cases of resistance, mandatory training, methods that facilitate a way to work together, regular evaluations of employees and officials, convertion of the supervitory philosophy to an ‘horizontal supervision’, fewer regulations and more shared responsibilities, etc. Get away from the monolithic leadership model. Re-integrate elements related to the sacred: encourage different values, like listen, observe, emotional bonding with citizens and collaborators, show that you empathize, try to understand others, empower others, be of service together, share wisdom together, trust, etc.

  2. BECOME AN OPEN GOVERNMENT LEADER in all areas and for all those involved, by TAKING CHARGE, taking responsibility for the development of open government in each department and institutions of the government, based on transparency, participation and collaboration. Inspire actions, at the municipal level, within the Canadian space, and at the international level. Take bold initiatives. Get out of the comfort zone by taking risks. Set stretch goals that enable to develop new skills. Become a purveyor of hope. Encourage and develop talent, create knowledge and promote excellence, exploite knowledge and add value, provide governance and define frameworks, create incentives and options.

  3. DEVELOP SOCIAL INTELLIGENCE (COLLABORATION) in all areas and for all those involved, by setting DIVERSIFIED STRATEGIES of collaboration with organisations, businesses, other goverments and citizens. Become social smarts by understanding how to use social media to develop social intelligence and social networks. Build effective communities of practice based on co-creation and co-production, knowledge management, e-learning, professional networking and development. Bridge silos, increase collaboration, increase productivity, cut expenses, improve access to information, better manage programs, improve transparency, enhance and accelerate situational awareness and decision making, better serve citizens, and respond more rapidly.


Open data is a sub-set of open government. I would like the government of Quebec to releases data of quality rather than a quantity of data that citizens will not know that what to do with. Data that leads to collective knowledge mobilized to process this data.

Release data, then draw on inspiration, ideas and opinions of organizations, businesses and citizens to solve problems together. Have development phases where people can contribute in a variety of different ways, ranging from applauding inspirations to contributing complex concepts. Being a part of a challenge would requires participants anywhere from a few minutes to many hours.

  1. A CHALLENGE ABOUT INNOVATION: The DOSSIER SANTÉ, the digitalization of health records in Quebec raised several concerns. Release relevant sets of data, while organizations, businesses and citizen’s help are asked to find solutions to improve efficiency in this area. Several problems are associated with the management of this project. They should be analyzed, while not losing sight of the overview.

  2. A CHALLENGE ABOUT EFFICIENCY: Since 2000, HYDRO-QUEBEC awarded computer contracts that cost nearly $1 billion. Nearly 40% of them have exceeded the budgets, which doubled the expected spending. Certainly, data sets and information about contracts would help all to see more clearly and propose solutions to improve the efficiency of the government in this area.

  3. A CHALLENGE ABOUT CREATIVITY: MUSEUMS have not established a comprehensive strategy to increase their revenues. Using data sets, ask organizations and citizens to seek diversification strategies and re-think the role and missions of museums to contribute to increase their revenues.

1 Like

FYI, 2 mentions of my opengov advocacy in Roberto Rocha’s article published in Montreal Gazette on February 3rd, 2012: ‘The push for open government’ and ‘Group’s open-government idea finds support’.

Hope they are all granted!

They are all good wishes. I see that they seem to be more organizational than tied to specific policies: an agency could learn to take risks even if its activities were not tied to opengov at all. Basically yours is an anti-bureaucracy manifesto. Hard to disagree, though there are very good historical reasons why modern government organizations are set up as bureaucracies.

As for the open data wishes, keep them warm. Before you know it, Canadian gov agencies will start asking citizens what data they wish to see released for a starter: this is the pattern I see in Italy. The rationale is that they (rightly) want to see some signs of interest from the citizeny, because releasing data is cheap but not free, and can be an unneeded headache. In Italy in most places citizens say they want: public transport data; public spending data; environmental data; and cultural event data.

1 Like


Since Henri-François Gautrin declared in July 2011, that Quebec needs a change of mentality in order to be able to implement an open government, I have been looking for solutions. These past 3 months, with the community of philosophers, via Edgeryders and beyond, I explored applications of a new model of human being - the Luminous Man - to governments. It’s interesting that you underline, Alberto, these suggestions asanti-bureaucracy’. It has not even crossed my mind. I see them as possible avenues for a change of the culture of a government.

Why not have a mix of policies in an open government directive, which would include actions in connection with open data open government etc, but also have other strategies, which aim at changing practices? A directive based on diversified strategies.

I remember comments from Lovisa Williams, in an interview at Gov20Radio in November 2010, about the office of e-diplomacy of the US States Department. She talked about ‘disruptive technology’ and described it as: Anything that contributes to perceive differently, remove the restrictions and change the way you work.  This ‘anything’ (including techno and non-techno), I would like to have it defined. I see it as something that could be transposed into policy-making.

‘Anti-bureaucracy’ and ‘disruptive’ coud be seen as synonyms, perhaps?

Two examples

My experience of the world happens through intuition, or self-transcendance.

Only last week, I found out about Jean-Pierre Dupuy. My thoughts followed a very similar path to his.

In 2002, Dupuy wrote a book about catastrophism (Pour un catastrophisme éclairé). He said that humanity is now able to destroy itself, because we take action against disasters only once they are done.

HOW I EXPERIENCED IT: With the project I founded in 2006, this is exactly what I tried to achieve: have citizens and governments take action together, by collaborating on the policy-making process, to prevent catastrophic effects of severe pandemics — before they happen. Transparency, share of information, was a means to fight the emergence of pandemics and also a tool for citizens to protect themselves (and their families, communities) from severe viruses, once a pandemic was declared.

In 2009, in La Marque du sacré, Dupuy explained that an absence of transcendence - and the individualism that results from it - unleashes envy, which now threatens the social order at all times. (ref)

HOW I EXPERIENCED IT: Because I am in a physical state of consciousness (Kundalini), through transcendence, I can understand the benefits and applications of a different model of human being (ie based on other values than envy). This explains why I developed contacts these past months with the community of philosophers and scientists studying consciousness.

EXAMPLE 1: There are examples of policy-making in regards to a change of culture in governments. The obligation for decision makers, including mayors, to attend ethics training is included in the Loi sur l’éthique et la déontologie en matière municipale, was adopted unanimously by the National Assembly in November 2011. (ref)

EXAMPLE 2: This paper on autism talks about a percentage of the population with a neurological difference, ie experiences the world differently: An economic and rational choice approach to the autism spectrum and human neurodiversity. Autism has been discriminated and these individuals tend to sink into unemployment. This paper provides solutions of employment for them. Replace the notion of autism by ‘Edgeryders’, and you get an example of policy making, to deal with innovators and other individuals who think outside the box.

An historical point of view and perhaps a philosophical one

Hello Lyne, Alberto,

History says: every time you want to change the way of a governement acts, every time you have to change the society and every time people are reluctant. Always old manners are better than the new ones. If you want to change the way you have to change the processes and people’s mind acting in it.

But saying that is saying nothing new. For now we know much about change and Dupuy is a well-skilled philosopher of this domain. He vwas a student of Inva Illich, the best known educator and also a friend of von Forster the famous architect of cybernetics. Heinz von Foerster - Wikipedia

Dupuy knows that all cilization are system-like and we have to work in it from the point of view of Systemic Ludwig von Bertalanffy - Wikipedia

That is when you change a part of a system the risk is to break it. That is all the parts of a system must to change for designing a sort of cynbernetical behavior able ton control the system in the phase of changing.

So, Lyne and Alberto are right, each speaks about a part of the problem and each search the best ways for acting. You are not opponents at all!

What do you think about?


I’m only passing along the bucket

Thank you, Michel, for reminding us that everyone does their best from their level of consciousness. We are pioneers into the unknown, and uncertainty is our ally.

In a fire brigade, everyone passes along a bucket, but only the last person puts out the fire.