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OpenGov Playbook

The purpose of the White House’s Open Government Directive (OGD) is to change the culture of federal agencies so that they are more transparent, participatory, and collaborative. The OpenGov Playbook (at www.opengovplaybook.org) is a place for open government practitioners at the federal, state, and local levels to share questions and effective practices about the Directive. Knowledge about the OGD is spread out across the Web; the primary purpose of this wiki-based site is to serve as a useful directory to those resources.

The Playbook also provides continuity across the monthly 2009 and 2010 Open Government Directive Workshops, which (as of June 2010) have involved 550 participants from the private sector and over fifty federal government agencies. Along with the National Academy of Public Administration and GovLoop, NCDD is proud to be one of the first organizational partners in this effort. Agencies that have hosted the workshops include the US Department of Transportation, the General Services Administration, the US Department of Agriculture, and the Department of the Treasury.

The OpenGov Playbook is an online repository of presentations and notes, ensuring that each workshop’s conversations build on the previous workshop’s conversations. The workshop series has blended in-person dialogue (World Cafe, Open Space, fishbowl dialogues) and remote participation (streaming video, GovLoop social network, wikis, Google groups, OpenGov Radio, Twitter, and Maestro Conference calls) to make the best use of limited resources.

History of the OGD Workshop Series

Back in September 2009, 70+ people from the public and private sectors joined a Google Group around the following mission statement: “The OGD Workshop Series will enable open gov advocates to share their questions, concerns, and ideas for successfully implementing the Open Government Directive.” That group was set up as an experiment, hoping that good things would happen. Three of the first leaders that stepped up were from NCDD: Lucas Cioffi (primary organizer), Kaliya Hamlin (the workshop facilitator) and Stephen Buckley (who brought the perspective of a federal employee involved in changing government culture). Jenn Gustetic, Keith Moore, George Chriss, and Alex Moll are among the many folks who have served as thought leaders and have taken this workshop series all the way from design to implementation.

Next Steps for the Series (as of June 2010)

Remaining workshops will run through November 2010. It’s interesting to note that the effort is entirely run by volunteers. And they won’t be shy about it—even though these are free workshops, the volunteers’ goal is to make them the best open gov workshops in DC– hands down. They’re happy to compete head-to-head with some very expensive conferences in the private sector, challenging those events to be more interactive and collaborative. This type of competition is very healthy, forcing us to experiment with innovative models that facilitate emergent outcomes.

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