Join the Open Government Think Tank

· Open Government

My recent white paper on Cloud Computing is centred on the practice of ‘Social Innovation‘, based on this research brief document from the Canadian Federal Government, Policy Research Initiative.

We’ll be exploring this further through iFOSSF, a USA-based non-profit.

As well as Cloud Ventures, which is mainly commercial, I’m also a board director for iFOSSF which is a non-profit specializing in how Open Source can be applied for greater social benefit.

In particular the organization is pioneering how the Fiscal Sponsorship model might be used more to help incubate and grow new Social Innovation projects, and then be disseminated widely through open source software.

Open sourcing best practices

The PRI document shows just how cutting edge the concept of Social Innovation is, as this is just an introductory document that doesn’t have in-depth research material in it but rather only the outline points to help provide a frame of reference.

Indeed the document concludes with a call out for further research. In the ‘Questions for Further Research’ they outline the framework for how further research may be conducted:

“What (if anything) is changing or has changed within contemporary society that is acting to increase the appetite for – or capacity to generate – social innovations?

What (if any) are the key differences between social innovation and other kinds of innovation in relation to:

  • the genesis of creative or innovative ideas that form the germ of subsequent innovations?
  • the process of converting such ideas into concrete realities “on the ground”?
  • the ease with which concrete innovations can be made widepspread or ‘scaled up’
  • the ease with which they can be adapted to different contexts and/or meet different needs?

What kinds of policy interventions are most likely to be successful in facilitating social innovations (and how do they differ from those that facilitate economic or business innovations)?”

The combination of Cloud Computing and open source software and systems method is such a powerful combination because it can be seen to be a holistic best practice answer to these questions.

I.e. The primary benefit of Cloud computing is to enable more rapid deployment of innovative new software, and open source software is the best way to widely proliferate new best practice ideas in software form.

You can join in here too, the Think Tank is a collaboration workspace running on the iFOSSF open source software based community site, where you can post your own project ideas and help build the surrounding knowledge base via blogs and wiki content.

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