Have you ever heard of an Unconference?
Have you ever heard of a BarCamp?
If these are new terms please read on, there are some important aspects of these concepts that CTOs should be familiar with. And there is a specific BarCamp Unconference coming up 27-28 March in the DC area focused on Gov2.0 that I'll mention below.
But first, back to those two terms.
An Unconference is a participant driven conference, normally facilitated, but never dictated. Unconferences are centered around a theme or a purpose. For more on Unconferences see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unconference
You can think of a BarCamp as a type of unconference. BarCamps are a network of user generated conference that are open, participatory events based on workshops. They have been commonplace in the open source community, but have also been applied in other areas, even political organizing. For more history see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barcamp But if you really want to know what a BarCamp is, go to one and contribute and see how you can change the world.
A great opportunity to contribute is coming on 27 and 28 March. The Government 2.0 Camp, organized by three widely followed experts in social media and collective action (Maxine Teller, Peter Corbett, Mark Drapeau) is a 100% participant planned, not-for-profit event that will bring together leading thinkers from government, academia and industry to share government 2.0 initiatives that are already in process and to collaborate about leveraging social media tools and Web2.0 technology to create a more efficient and effective government-- Government 2.0.
Maxine Teller writes that: "The unconference format embodies these same collaborative principles as our nation's democracy--of the people, by the people, for the people--and thus, is the ideal structure for the topic of Government 2.0. This event is a tremendous opportunity to practice what we preach and create something better collectively than we could individually."
This event will be happening at a great time. The Obama administration will have been on scene long enough to have mapped out not only their strategy for the future but strengths, weaknesses and gaps in pursuit of their strategy. With input from feds in the know, the attendees at this event may be able to help address gaps and contribute to the technology path of the nation in ways that are hard to predict, but likely very positive.
To learn more about the event and to sign up for it (and to help plan for and sponsor it), see the event wiki at: http://barcamp.org/Government20Camp
To register for the event visit the site at: http://gov20camp.eventbrite.com
I hope to see you there.