Traditionally slow to adopt new technologies, more and more governmental organizations are refocusing on utilizing and maximizing open source and web 2.0 tools. This movement, often referred to as Gov 2.0, is creating new, fresh ways to tackle traditional challenges and improve government services. Ireland's Your Country Your Call challenge recently announced the winning proposals of its open government initiative that tasked the public with helping revitalize the Irish economy. In addition, the US Department of State is utilizing Brightidea software to power the 'Sounding Board' innovation platform championed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to help overhaul everyday department activities. The City of San Francisco did it too. And now the Flemish government is doing just the same.
Just this week the Flemish government, in collaboration with HP, launched an open innovation portal, I-Vlaanderen (or i-Flanders), powered by Brightidea's WebStorm. The platform seeks ideas from the public for policy reforms to improve pressing economic and social issues. Top ideas will be reviewed by a special board and eventually sent to Flemish minister Geert Bourgeois for consideration and eventual implementation.
It's great to see the concept of open government spreading and being practically applied to help solve real-world problems, improve government operations, and help improve the lives of citizen's all over the world.