Middle East’s first group on Government 2.0 to roll out public discussions that are viewable and shareable online.
Washington D.C., February XX, 2011 – Digital Daya (‘digital influence’), a strategic consultancy that empowers world leaders to leverage the new media of the Internet, has announced the formation of a LinkedIn group entitled ‘Gov 2.0 – Technology, Initiatives and Innovations.’
Because of digital communication and the ascent of social networking, the world of politics and policy-making is moving at lightning speed and those who try merely to keep pace may ultimately be left behind. The newly created group provides a stage for sharing knowledge and ideas on this new and powerful technology; along with a forum where government leaders can engage in conversation with practitioners and innovators across the globe.
Digital Daya has formed the LinkedIn group with the simple mission to promote good governance. A vital and wide‐ranging transformation of government is underway driven by the ascendancy of social networking and Web2.0 technologies ― the phenomenon has been labeled Government 2.0. The ‘Gov 2.0 – Technology, Initiatives and Innovations’ group is intended as a global resource to develop an informed understanding of this new media of the Internet, advance its impact on global governance and public policy, and to encourage governments to harness its potential to create new public value. Contributions are provided by a collection of experts, academics, public officials, opinion leaders, business influentials, and concerned citizens.
The new reality of 21st Century Governance
The world wide web (W3) is a tabula rasa – a blank slate upon which individuals, groups, cultures and nations engage. And because the web is available to anyone with on-line access, we’ve seen that this essential communications medium can be a very potent platform to engage and influence an increasingly interconnected public audience.
A new widespread shift is underway towards online discourse and an increasing demand for direct communication between leaders and their people; in truth creating a challenge for political leaders and policy-makers that seek to shape public opinion. These leaders are finding it more difficult to promote their public image abroad with a highly informed global audience and equally at home to deal with the Internet as a growing medium for political activism and dissent.
Some countries such as the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, and Singapore have declared “open government” initiatives to promote transparency and foster more direct political representation with their citizenry by applying social networking and Web 2.0 technologies to the practice of government. The initiative, labeled as Government 2.0 programs, are geared to let people access government information online and collaborate more openly in the making of public policy.
The point? This new medium, the Internet and specifically the 100’s of millions who are connected online through social networks, is defining 21st Century governance.
In April 2010, the Digital Policy Council (DPC), the research and public advocacy arm of Digital Daya, published its report “Facebook: A Platform for 21st Century Politics” describing how this transformation will be felt worldwide; and expressly foretelling how it’s impact will potentiate the political landscape in the Middle East and broader Muslim World. Case in point is the role social media has played in the organization and escalation of dissent in Tunisia and Egypt that toppled these governments and sent reverberations around the Arab world.
We are witnessing the turnover of Middle Eastern leadership. As the old guard “times out,” new leaders, younger more visionary leaders, have the opportunity to step forward. Digital Daya sees these leaders recognizing the value of employing web assets to engage their peoples and other cultures around the globe. In effect, the tabula rasa that is the W3 is to be filled in with a new breed of leaders in nations across the region. These leaders will learn how to harness the power of the Internet to converse with their citizens, engage them in the development of public policy, and create support in civil society for their actions.
Millions of people committed to similar goals, ideas, and values are being engaged into social networks. Once enough citizens are mobilized and decide to participate, their networks build commanding social capital leading to the political power to influence not only domestic policy but public sentiment around the world.
“Social media is a disruptive technology that has shifted the balance of power into the hands of ordinary citizens and as such 21st Century governance will be defined by how successfully they are engaged.” said Omar Hijazi, Managing Partner for Digital Daya, “The good news is that these social networks can be influenced just as powerfully as they can incite. Knowing how to do this empathetically will be the key to political sustainability. We hope the discussions and insights from this Gov 2.0 group will inform government leaders in this region on the latest technology, initiatives and innovations to respond to the changing face of politics. ”
Digital Daya welcomes all interested parties to join the conversation. This community can be accessed @ http://linkd.in/nextgen-gov.
About Digital Daya™
Digital Daya is an international strategic consultancy helping world leader leverage the power of digital platforms to influence and engage the World in the 21st Century. The Digital Policy Council (DPC), the research and policy arm of the Digital Daya, is an international, non-partisan ‘think tank’ that promotes good governance and policy-making.