34 min

Open Source Government (with Aaron Snow‪)‬ Let's Think Digital

    • Technology

It’s fair to say that most governments don’t choose to use open source by default. Despite efforts over the past two decades to make open source solutions a viable, or even default solution in government, there's still a lot of skepticism. Those in decision making positions often raise concerns around security and reliability compared to proprietary software that is viewed as being “safe” even if it is more expensive and less flexible in many cases.
So what should an open source government look like? And why would we want one?
To answer these questions, we are joined by Aaron Snow, Faculty Fellow, and former Acting Executive Director for the Georgetown University Beeck Center for Social Impact and Innovation in Washington DC. Prior to his work at the Beeck Center, Aaron was a US Presidential Innovation Fellow and was subsequently one of the co-founders, and then later Executive Director of 18F, the US government’s in-house technology and design consultancy. In 2018 he moved north of the border and became the first CEO of the Government of Canada’s Canadian Digital Service. And has twice been named one of the “World’s 100 Most Influential People in Digital Government" by Apolitical.
In our conversation, we talk about why our current approach to technology actually makes government less transparent, and how open source in government might be a moral imperative. If government is creating or procuring software using taxpayer’s money--something that has been in the news with the investigation into the ArriveCan app in Canada--shouldn't government have a requirement to share that code back with the public since it is the public who “owns” it? And how do we ensure that leaders in government know enough about technology to make good decisions about how it is used?
Watch on YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZJEuTgFK6M
Related Links
Digital Service NetworkAaron Snow's WebsiteGeorgetown University Beeck Center for Social Innovation and ImpactAuditor-General to report Monday on how cost of ArriveCan app grew from $80,000 to more than $54-million (Globe and Mail)
Chapters
00:00 Introduction
04:41 Interview with Aaron Snow
06:13 The Security Aspect of Open Source
07:46 The Unrealized Promise of Open Source in Government
13:15 The Need for Strong Political Leadership in Digital Government
24:03 Modular, Reusable Components in Government
32:03 Conclusion

It’s fair to say that most governments don’t choose to use open source by default. Despite efforts over the past two decades to make open source solutions a viable, or even default solution in government, there's still a lot of skepticism. Those in decision making positions often raise concerns around security and reliability compared to proprietary software that is viewed as being “safe” even if it is more expensive and less flexible in many cases.
So what should an open source government look like? And why would we want one?
To answer these questions, we are joined by Aaron Snow, Faculty Fellow, and former Acting Executive Director for the Georgetown University Beeck Center for Social Impact and Innovation in Washington DC. Prior to his work at the Beeck Center, Aaron was a US Presidential Innovation Fellow and was subsequently one of the co-founders, and then later Executive Director of 18F, the US government’s in-house technology and design consultancy. In 2018 he moved north of the border and became the first CEO of the Government of Canada’s Canadian Digital Service. And has twice been named one of the “World’s 100 Most Influential People in Digital Government" by Apolitical.
In our conversation, we talk about why our current approach to technology actually makes government less transparent, and how open source in government might be a moral imperative. If government is creating or procuring software using taxpayer’s money--something that has been in the news with the investigation into the ArriveCan app in Canada--shouldn't government have a requirement to share that code back with the public since it is the public who “owns” it? And how do we ensure that leaders in government know enough about technology to make good decisions about how it is used?
Watch on YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZJEuTgFK6M
Related Links
Digital Service NetworkAaron Snow's WebsiteGeorgetown University Beeck Center for Social Innovation and ImpactAuditor-General to report Monday on how cost of ArriveCan app grew from $80,000 to more than $54-million (Globe and Mail)
Chapters
00:00 Introduction
04:41 Interview with Aaron Snow
06:13 The Security Aspect of Open Source
07:46 The Unrealized Promise of Open Source in Government
13:15 The Need for Strong Political Leadership in Digital Government
24:03 Modular, Reusable Components in Government
32:03 Conclusion

34 min

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