Gov 2.0 Hero: Steve Ressler

Steve Ressler

What was your path to Gov 2.0?

I co-founded a group called Young Government Leaders, a professional organization that now consists of over 2,000 federal employees. I was responsible for launching our first website as well as our presence on sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and MySpace. Based on my experience with YGL and these other social networks, I saw a true need for an online community devoted to the government sector where we could focus on sharing best practices and ideas to improve government. Thus was born and it is often used as one of the case studies of Gov 2.0.

What area of government offers the biggest opportunity for improvement via Web 2.0 tools?

Leveraging the wisdom of crowds. I think there are two major groups we can leverage. First, we can truly leverage the ton of knowledge inside the government already through new tools, collaboration platforms and social networks. Second, we can begin to bring citizens into the discussions and together we can solve the key issues we face.

What’s the killer app that will make Gov 2.0 the norm instead of the exception?

Ideagoras. For years, government has been looking for a way to get input from employees and citizens. Suggestion boxes have always been around for employees to get ideas to senior leaders. Townhalls and meetings have been used to get citizen input on important issues. Now there are ways to get these ideas quickly and also get collaboration and peer-voting. True, we are still working through how to handle haters, flamers and special interest groups. But I think this is a huge opportunity for the government to start truly listening internally and externally.

What part of Gov 2.0 most excites you?

The opportunity to be part of a revolution in the way government does business. I think this is more than just another stage of e-government but a change in culture and mindset as well. I think there will be huge changes in the next five years in how government operates and it excites me to be part of the change.

Luke Fretwell is the founder of the civic innovation and technology blog GovFresh. He advises civic leaders and businesses on how to best leverage digital strategies to create more effective, collaborative governments. He has written about government IT for Federal Computer Week, NextGov, FedScoop, StateScoop and FierceGovernment, and has been referenced by the Washington Post and Fast Company on civic technology issues. He has worked with a number of government-focused companies and media, including CivicActions, NuCivic and FedScoop and has been involved in broad-focused community efforts, such as GovPress, CityCamp, CivicMeet, Agile Government Leadership and Open Source for America. Connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.


Thank you

Every day I get to engage with entrepreneurs, public sector innovators and journalists on re-imagining and re-energizing how government works, what it means to be “civic,” and this year has been an incredible one for many friends and colleagues.

Funding government technology

I’m always inspired talking and working with entrepreneurs trying to solve big civic problems, especially those who realize much of the challenge lies within modernizing and empowering internal government operations, so it was great to finally meet with Govtech Fund Founder and Managing Partner Ron Bouganim this week.

Government and the ’empowered product owner’

The 18F Delivery team released a “Partnership Playbook” that aims to help federal agencies understand what to expect when working with 18F, and the gem within is play number two, “We work with an empowered product owner.”

Benchmarking for better government

Citizens simply glaze over when they are confronted by a sea of large numbers with many zeros. These figures need to be relatable to the person reading the data. Otherwise, open data is just more data that dies on the vine.

Why local government must go digital

The Welsh Government released a report of its findings on how local government in Wales can better leverage digital technologies and realize significant savings while still providing quality, scalable citizen services.

‘No ugly, old IT.’

“No ugly, old IT” jumped out at me when I first reviewed DataSF’s strategic plan, “Data in San Francisco: Meeting supply, spurring demand,” and it still sticks, mostly because someone inside government was so bold as to make this a priority and openly communicate it and also because this should be a mantra for everyone building civic technology.

Why is a big deal

Enabling internal government tech shops to quickly stand up applications in a secure testing environment is fundamental to quick prototyping, and 18F’s new is a major step in realizing ultimate IT flexibility.


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