Call for Participation: State and Local Government Study on Open Source Adoption

604px-Oregon_State_Capital_rotundaIf you’re a U.S. State or Local technology professional with experience in open source software for your organization, your participation is being sought for a national study.

The interviews will be used to develop and publish a Best Practices and Lessons Learned report for state and local government. The analysis will also help inform Federal research and development efforts to leverage open source software for intergovernmental use.

The research is funded through the Science and Technology Directorate of the US Department of Homeland Security.

You’ll find more information and a contact form on our Call for Participation page.

Call is now closed.

Get on the (Hacker) Bus.

Get on the (Hacker) Bus.

I recently returned from the Thirteenth International Forum for Free Software (FISL) in Porto Alegre Brazil.  With an attendance of about 8,000 this year, it is the largest tech conference in South America and likely the largest free/open source conference in the world.  I was fortunate to have attended representing OSI and presented a keynote on free and open source software and its civic and social impact around the world, and a second session on Economic Development.

The Brazilian government – with great grassroots support – was a pioneer in the use of free software as an economic development strategy, and also to bridge the digital divide by lowering the barrier to access to technology.  Today the government’s involvement has shifted in some respects, and community leaders from a number of Latin American countries are debating in general the pros and cons of government partnership in their FOSS initiatives.

The “Hacker Bus” project – pictured above behind myself and colleague Paulo Mierelles from the University of Sao Paulo FLOSS Competency Center - really impressed.  Getting technology and “Hacktivism” out into undeserved areas makes for a fantastic program.
You can read more about the project on The Next Web  published during last year’s conference.

Coming up: Open Source & Cybersecurity at POSSCON March 28-29, 2012

One of my favorite projects I have the good fortune to be contributing to was created by the US Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (DHS S&T – the equivalent of the R&D arm of the agency).  It’s called the HOST program (Homeland Open Security Technology).

Joining me at the upcoming Palmetto Open Source Software Conference (POSSCON) on March 22-29 will be my HOST colleagues from  DHS, Georgia Tech Research Institute, OSSI, and other government experts like John Scott (most recently co-authored “Open Technology Development: Lessons Learned & Best Practices for the Military”.

The program does a number of things, but the main thrust is to help get open source cyber security tools in to the hands of federal, state and local agencies wherever it makes sense. The path that leads there includes creating some useful educational tools and making small, strategic investments to help make that possible.

If you’re interested in Open Source, the POSSCON event has grown into a must-attend.  If you’re interested in security, please come join us.  We’ll be there to….

Columbia, South Carolina serves up big heaps of southern hospitality to conference participants every year.  This is my fourth year to make the pilgrimage there.  If you can attend, I promise you won’t be disappointed.  And if you do, please come say hello.

Open Government and eParticipation in the EU

Open Government and eParticipation in the EU

I spoke to the OpenGov and eParticipation Summit in Belfast, Northern Ireland in late September.  The event was produced by the University of Ulster with the help of a number of organizations and sponsors.  I’d met faculty from the University when they came out to visit the Open Source Lab and learn more about the OSL’s success with supporting global open source communities. was pleased to be invited to share what I’ve learned working with a number of Open Government / Open Data initiatives and the open source community in the US.

Speakers ranged from county government to senior UK government, included industry, entrepreneurs and academics.  Topics extended to open data and information exchange in health IT.   A presentation from an Italian company which produces town hall style meetings using electronic voting described their product and process.  The system was utilized during the Day 2 eParticpation Summit.  The software interestingly enough was actually written by the Tuscany government and is available as open source.

It was interesting to see the conference and summit take the policy issues related to open data head on.  In contrast to the US where private industry and civic advocates have driven the train while (most notably) the Federal government is de-funding transparency sites, Ireland and the UK governments themselves seem more engaged in creating a road map for opening their data and making that transition sustainable.  At the same time, the open source community seems less engaged there in supporting more civic and volunteer approaches to opening up government.

Government Open Source Conference D.C. Program set for August 23

GOSCON_DC2 SqPlease join me on August 23 at the Washington Convention Center for our Seventh Annual GOSCON, this year collocated with Innovation Nation Forum.  I’m very excited we’re partnering with MeriTalk for the event which takes this year’s burning government IT issues head-on.

Our program this month includes a great lineup of all agency leadership – from the FCC to the White House, the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, NASA, DHS and more.  A full program schedule, registration  and other details can be found at Innovation Nation, or you can check out the GOSCON site for speaker details.  Registration is complementary to government, one registration provides access to all Innovation Nation keynotes and sessions.

GOSCON Track details:
Cost Take Out: Where are the Savings in Open Source?

  • Greg Elin, Chief Data Officer, Federal Communications Commission
  • Tiffany Smith Licciardi, eDiplomacy, U.S. Department of State
  • Dr. David A. Wheeler, Research Staff Member, Institute for Defense Analyses
  • Alexander B. Howard, Gov 2.0 Correspondent, O’Reilly Media [Moderator]

Building Outside the Box: Leading Federal Agency Innovators

  • Matthew Burton, Office of the CIO, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
  • Scott Goodwin, Chief Information Officer for Space Operations, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • Dr. Douglas Maughan, Director, Cyber Security Division, Department of Homeland Security Science & Technology Directorate
  • Wayne Moses Burke, Executive Director, Open Forum Foundation [Moderator]

Open Source Lessons Learned: What the Feds can Learn from State and Local Gov

  • Carolyn Lawson, Chief Information Officer, Oregon Health Authority
  • Bryan Sivak, Chief Innovation Office, State of Maryland
  • Chris Vein, Executive Officer of the President
  • Deborah Bryant, Public Sector Communities Manager, Oregon State University Open Source Lab [moderator]

About GOSCON: The Government Open Source Conference (GOSCON) program is produced by Oregon State University Open Source Lab as part of its mission to educate and build community. Since 2005, GOSCON has helped fuel the adoption of open source technology in the public sector by attracting information technology leaders worldwide to its annual event. Ongoing conference content includes lessons learned in the development and integration of open source solutions into agency environments, exposure to projects and existing software applications and services, and opportunities to establish and foster relationships for collaboration around shared interests.

The Year of Open Government: Who’s Making it So?

goscon_notsite_300I’m going to GOSCON 2010 – the Government Open Source Conference – of course, and as conference chair I hope I’ll see you there too.

We’re back in Portland Oregon this fall.  Visit the web site for news, conference program, speaker line up, and registration.

So you ask me, what’s hot this year?  One thing for certain; following the Obama Administration’s Open Government Directive, state and local governments have turned to the Swiss Army knife of open technology tools to crack open up government data for the sake of transparency and to unleash innovation in some of the most unexpected ways.

We’re gathering an amazing group of city, state, county and federal leadership to sharing their stories and successes, expose and debate the challenges. Great break-out sessions on what government is doing, and most exciting, the growing civic engagement movements in government IT like Civic Commons and others.  Deep discussions in the hallways.  Interactive panels. Lively debates in the after hours of Portland’s great pubs and eateries.

We’re partnering with the Seattle non-profit  Knowledge As Power  and the OpenGovWest folks this year and hosting an Open Data Summit.

We’re launching a first ever IgniteGov event smack in the middle of GOSCON, to gather the public service/civic advocacy/transparency/community crowd for a fast-paced and fun exchange of ideas.

And much more.  Check out the web site, and help us spread the word.  Here’s the Digest version:

Event: The Government Open Source Conference (GOSCON 2010)
Web Site: http://goscon.org
Dates: October 26, Open Data Summit, October 27-28, GOSCON
Topics: Role of open source software and collaboration enabling leading Open Government and Transparency initiatives throughout the US. Open technology strategy, policy, acquisitions, operations, organizational readiness, exemplary projects and use case are covered in breakout sessions.  Executive Open Data Round table includes state, city and federal leadership. Open Data Summit on gathers government, civic, and technology interests to collaborate on standards issue.
Intended Audience: Pubic Sector CIOs, IT Directors, Infrastructure and Development Mangers, Contract Managers, Data Managers, Enterprise Architects, IT Policy Advisers, Public Information Officers, Public Administrators with responsibility for information technology strategy.  Internal gov2.0 evangelists will also benefit from the program.

Location: The Nines Hotel, 525 SW Morrison, Portland, Oregon 97204

Registration:    Government and non-profits, $195 until October 18, $250 thereafter, Corporate $295 until October 18, $375 thereafter (includes all sessions, exhibits, conference meals, and materials.

Conference Organizers: Oregon State University Open Source Lab osuosl.org