White House SocialGov Summit Aims to Improve Open Data Innovation

Aug 19, 2014
SocialGov Open Data White House EEOB Summit, Aug 7th 2014

More than 100 digital engagement and open data managers from across government met with leaders in the private sector startup community August 7 at the White House for a summit on integrating our digital services with public participation to create more opportunities for innovation and tackle tougher challenges.

The SocialGov Summit on Open Data Innovation was organized by the 700-member SocialGov Community and White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, launching a new inter-community initiative to apply combined open data, digital engagement, and innovative technologies to fields ranging from the Internet of Things and emergency management to modernization of the regulatory process.

The format of the event shadowed the roles of social media in government itself:

  • Listening to the experiences and insights of innovators in the Startup and Tech Communities
  • Sharing existing and needed resources for advancing open data and innovative tech programs, and
  • Collaborating on tailored open data programs and events that deliver better results.

SocialGov Open Data White House EEOB Summit Listening to Innovative Communities panel, Aug 7th 2014
Representatives from The Case Foundation, WeWork, General Assembly, ThinkUp and Fosterly opened the session with a discussion on the unique needs of their communities, and how government managers can listen better to design public/private partnerships that encourage sustainable innovation.

“Shouting into the Internet is not engagement, there’s work you have to do and that begins with listening,” noted keynote speaker Dan Morgan, chief data officer for the Department of Transportation.

Participants then explored the tools and resources currently available to our communities, with discussions led by representatives from Reddit, Hootsuite, Facebook and the new 18F program.

“If we give people not just the data but inclusive means to use it, they can create something better,” said Victoria Taylor, director of communications for Reddit. “People rethink government outreach when they realize there are in fact opportunities to engage, collaborate, and contribute to better services.”

Also, we shared what initiatives have the potential to help shape our programs moving forward to deliver the best results, including insights from the teams at Data.gov, the State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs, the Department of Labor and the World Bank.

The event concluded with collaborative brainstorming on how to best integrate together the digital engagement and open data communities for improved performance of our programs.

For more information on GSA’s SocialGov program and how you can be part of the effort to improve open data programs with public participation and digital engagement, please contact me via email.