Tuesday, January 31, 2012

PADGETS project supports the Greek open governance initiative Labs.OpenGov.gr

Labs.OpenGov.gr is the first Greek web laboratory for e-Governance. It is an action, held under the aegis of the Greek Ministry of Public Reform and e-Government which aims to bring out creative ideas, inspire people and introduce innovation in the relations of citizens and businesses with the state. It has a dual presence, both physical and digital. In its physical form, Labs.OpenGov operates through open workshops that allow for the exchange of views and the synthesis of different proposals. In its digital form, the Forum operates through a platform where every citizen can submit proposals and participate in a virtual dialogue by using the most modern tools of networking.

Labs OpenGov action is organised in recurring thematic cycles. During each cycle, any citizen who visits Labs.OpenGov.gr can submit ideas and suggestions via an open call. Afterwards, the suggestions and ideas on the open calls are published on the platform enabling the rest users to comment or rate the proposals in a forum like rationale. The accumulated content is subject to moderation and part of it is presented in a public event.

The fifth thematic cycle that is currently in progress is devoted to proposals aiming to reduce the operational costs of public bodies and to improve administrative procedures relating to transactions between government and citizens or businesses. Under this effort the implementation of the first PADGETS pilot has been integrated, extending the action in the Social media platforms, going directly where users are on the web. During the first phase of the fifth Labs cycle any citizen can submit proposals not only, on the Labs platform but also via the Social media accounts that Labs use.

PADGETS is an EU research project in the domain of ICT for Governance and Policy Modelling on “social media” policy gadgets or simply “padgets”, implemented by a consortium of twelve leading research organisations and enterprises (National Technical University of Athens, Fraunhofer FOKUS, ISMB, University Regensburg, Google, Whitehall Srl, ATC SA, Tech4i2, etc.), coordinated by the Information Systems Laboratory of the University of the Aegean. The objective of PADGETS is to implement a prototype service for policy makers that utilizes social media technologies and techniques to boost public engagement, enable cross-platform publishing and content tracking and provide decision support. Through the PADGETS platform, policy makers are capable of disseminating their policy messages through multiple social media simultaneously, using a single integrated interface. They are able to reach large user groups in these platforms and collect their feedback, by keeping track of and analyzing users’ reactions to the policy message.

The added value that PADGETS aspires to offer to the Lab concept is the advantage of engaging users within their preferred and familiar social media environments. Through PADGETS, the Labs Scientific Committee can make a step further towards the citizens by migrating public deliberation from the Labs.Opengov.gr website in places where users already feel comfortable to communicate, collaborate and express opinions. Thus, anyone who wishes to participate in the current thematic cycle can use the Labs accounts on Facebook and Τwitter (using the hashtag #labs5).

The aforementioned pages allow users to be informed for the proposals, to submit new ones, to provide ideas or comments, to suggest improvements and finally evaluate all proposals. By utilising the advanced PADGETS tools and the capabilities of user interactivity within social media, the Scientific Committee intends to retrieve citizen’s feedback on the submitted proposals and to encourage the emergence of new ideas.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The eGovernment Symposium at HICSS, Maui: New Challenges for eGov Research

The eGovernment Track is one of the most successful tracks in HICSS conference, held for more than 10 years in the Hawaiian islands.  For 2012, the 45th HICSS conference was held at the Grand Wailea Hotel, in the island of Maui, US.

View of the Symposium, Gordon Bruce presenting
On the first day of the conference, the eGovernment Symposium was held, among distinguished participants from research, academia, industry and government sector.  Keynote speaches included Sonny Baghowalia (Hawaii State CIO) and Bruce Gordon (Honolulu CIO).

During the discussion, several new research challenges arose, depicted in the following mindmap:

For more information on HICSS eGov Track, visit: http://faculty.washington.edu/jscholl/hicss45/Welcome.html

HICSS presentation on eGov Research Roadmap

During the 45th HICSS conference on 6th January 2012, held in Maui, US, the paper "ICT for Governance and Policy Modelling: Research Challenges and Future Prospects in Europe", that we wrote together with Fenareti Lampathaki, David Osimo and Gianluca Misuraca.

The paper discusses the changing role of the government in the Information Society, also proposing some elements for a conceptualisation of ICT for governance and policy modelling. It further presents the evolving debate on the e-Government and e-Governance agenda developments, as well as the state of the art and the limitations of research in these fields. Main emerging trends and future prospects within the evolving public sector are then anticipated in order to draw some preliminary conclusions outlining the challenges ahead and future research in the field of ICT for governance and policy modelling.

The presentation is available here:  https://pithos.grnet.gr/pithos/rest/yannisx@aegean.gr/files/Shared/eGovernence+Research+Grand+Challenges.pdf

Friday, January 6, 2012

Greek Interoperability Days on Open Data - WeGov Awards

The Greek Interoperability Days were held at National Technical University  of Athens (NTUA) premises, on December 1st, 2011.  The information day, co-organised by the Greek Interoperability Centre, Microsoft Innovation Centre and Oracle Hellas, focused on the objectives and challenges of the opendata movement in Europe and internationally. Key presentations included:

Dejan Cvetkovic, Microsoft
Dejan Cvetkovic, Regional Technology Officer, Central and Eastern Europe, Microsoft
Microsoft Open Data strategy

Frangiskos Zervos, Technology Sales Consulting Director, Oracle Hellas S.A
Oracle Strategy for Public Open Data

Theodoros Karounos, Opengov Labs, Greece 
Greek Government open data initiatives

The ENGAGE project on open data was extensively presented and discussed, as a major European approach for open data standardisation and promotion, under the e-Infrastructures EU Programme.

The information day also included the final stage of the Greek eGovernment Competition WeGov Awards, co-organised by University of Aegean, NTUA and University of Pireaus.

More information, presentations and i available at: http://www.iocenter.eu/news--events/events/open-data-day.aspx