On Monday, July 20, Second Life will be hosting a simulcast presentation from Beth Simone Noveck, deputy Chief Technology Officer at the White House responsible for Open Government. Ms. Noveck will be presenting her new book, WIKI GOVERNMENT: How Technology Can Make Government Better, Democracy Stronger, and Citizens More Powerful. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A, in which participants from both Second Life and in person can ask questions of the author. The event will begin at 12:00pm EST/9:00am PST on Monday, July 20, 2009 and will take place in Second Life on MacArthur Island.
According to the book’s summary, “Ms. Noveck’s Wiki Government insightfully demonstrates how technology, along with citizen participation, can help the government become more open and effective at solving the complex social and economic problems we face today.”
These kind of small incursions by the nation’s senior technology executives into the virtual realm provide me with some hope that eventually, with some refinement, some standardization and some positive educational opportunities, more of our peers in the government sector will sit up and take note of the broad and deep potential that maintaining a presence in a virtual environment can have for us in the public sector.
Virtual worlds are not going to solve all of our problems, but they certainly will go far in creating that “open and effective” government that we strive for. Requiring minimal funding and relying on platforms that exist today, virtual worlds afford a prime opportunity to extend two-way channels of communication and provide a permanent collaborative realm in which citizens can come together with each other and their governments to design and build products, open dialogs and fulfill concepts that can result in innovative solutions of which we can all be proud.
This Monday’s upcoming virtual simulcast of Ms. Noveck’s presentation will certainly be interesting to watch. I am curious to see how many other SLers will opt to show up and hear what she has to say, and how the feedback and Q&A from the SL audience will differ from her real world audience. If you are there, please shoot me an IM and let me know what you think too. I’ll be the wolf in the top hat (Greever Wemyss).