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Nagore de los Ríos: como he abierto un gobierno

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The story I am going to tell you began like so many today with a person sitting in front of his computer at home and realising that a great idea could help to change the world someone called Javier Martinez de Ibarreta on 16 February 2010 as he read a news item that an administration, a government was going to use Open Office in thousands of its computers it struck him that it would be great to use the potential of all those computers in the public interest and for the good of humanity. Just a short time ago, Javier would have had to make do with discussing this idea with his friends. And depending on the contacts that he might have had, even if rather unlikely, he might have managed to reach the right person with the authority to implement this idea in an administration. But Javier already knew about Open Government and he therefore turned to such a platform to get things underway. The result (sorry, I haven´t got the remote control) The result of this small gesture is that over 2400 public computers are now part of the World Community Grid and reuse this potential along with many other previously underused resources for scientific research, to look for cures dengue fever or childhood cancer. It is a small feature, it is a small example that is part of a much larger and much more important social change which is Open Government. It is no technological whitewash to make politicians look gook. Any politician who thinks so is finished. But rather it is a real revolution. It is part of my personal journey, which I have been lucky to experience in a tiny administration as political willpower has made it possible but which can be replicated in any administration around the world. What is Open Government? It is a way of doing politics based on three pillars. Transparency, Participation and Collaboration. Transparency means that politicians provide information in real time and always explain the decisions and whys and wherefores in the first person and backed-up with data to backup the reasons for those decisions for example, how they manage budgets whether or not they are making cutbacks, how they are managing real spending, and so on. Participation means that citizens can ask questions and be interest in absolutely everything either that the government is working on or that they want to ask about or are interested in. They can for example learn about, legislation such as the Transparency Act. But not only to learn about, but also to be involved in its wording work with the people drafting the Transparency Act even before it is approved by the Government´s cabinet. Collaboration is listening to all the initiatives irrespective of where they are from. Which is what we are doing here today in order to be implemented in any administration and in any government and when the data are released the citizens can also be involved as they put forward new ideas, new solutions. For example, New York City Council released all the public data regarding health inspections of establishments and now there is an application so that you are warned when you are going to enter a restaurant if it has been fined for cockroaches, rats or lack of hygiene. Transparency, Participation and Collaboration yet in that order because if we do not have total transparency we will never be able to collaborate with absolute assurance and even less co-manage. They may just seem like three words. But I can assure you that they contain great potencial, which is very important to all of us who believe that politics must change. And it is important for us. What is Open Government? Open Government is listening and dialoguing instead of imposing Open Government is looking for help, asking for help from the citizens listening to all those initiatives to be able to apply them as citizens are no longer prepared to just watch is going on worldwide but they also try to change it. Open Government is providing information in real time and providing all that data, because if information is power it is now time to return it to citizens, because it is public because it belongs to them, because it is theirs. It means losing a little control to recoup that legitimacy that we have lost after so many years of deliberate obscurity. And what I believe is the most important of all changing the agend in order to finally put the citizen in the spotlight. And all of this without the usual middlemen. Nor press officers, nor the media. Because who better than to explain a decision than the person who has taken it? Or who better to propose a solution than the person affected by the problem. Therefore it is much easier to govern today if we all manage to place the citizen at the heart of the Agenda. Open Government is cutting-edge, it is emerging. But is only being considered by the large administrations from the technical point of view, using the indicators or from the point of view of Open Data. But what is happening with communication? That was the nuance I detected. That need. That is why I created a tool. I did not create a blog or a usual sort of website. But rather a tool whose main aim is to connect citizens with politicians directly without middlemen and only using technology to bring those two such remote but mutually dependant worlds together to connect them. Because politics is generally discredited. Usually, the citizens are aflter and demand answers thta they are never offered and they are also unaware of everything the public managers are doing. And the other hand, politicians continue with an obsolete model in a single direction with majjor headlines about grandiloquent decisions. But therre is a great deal of small print. In all administrations, there are thousands of public managers that take political decisions each day that affect millions of citizens. And we not aware of that. There are also platforms created by civil society or even sometimes created by other administrations we all know which where citizens can ask questions and put forward ideas and, great, citizens use them. Well, but what happens? Some of the administrations are then incapable of taking those proposals directly to the person who has to put them into practice. This tool enables: Citizens to ask or make proposals where appropriate to then be forwarded to the politicians. and in turn to discover the small print of the administration. And the politicians are able to listen to absolutely everything and to put their point across in the first person. So that the small print is understood we use five maxims 1. Language: clear and non-bureaucratic i.e. "traslating the official gazette". 2. We see the data, we have seen examples to show those stories behind them "we translate Excel tables". 3. Active Listening how doesn´t matter, a forum, other websites, governmental pages, inside, outside, it doesn´t matter where someone makes a proposal we go through absolutely everything so not to miss anything. 4. Responsibility we allocate their decision or their topic to each political decison-maker 5. Put a face to the administration to each politician their photo, their telephone number, their profiles in the social networks their ge-localisation, their public agenda....absolutely everything. But they are not just left alone with the tool we have pressurised the top executives to be seen and we thaugt them, we have trained them to use this plain and simple dialogue and also which are the places that they have to use. And we have also trained over 70 journalist in the region so that they know how to delve into this information and they can tell these stories from different points of view perfect but all of which must be true without tampering as they have the original source not the cooked-up figures. All of which is covered by open licences as we want to share this knowledge and use the other administrations that start to deploy the platform or tool that we are using But... that does not mean that everything is wonderful, everething is just perfect, that everything has worked out phenomenally that we are delighted...that it is a job well done... No. Not at all. Politicians, even though they belong to a single ideology, in the same administration, are logically people who do not behave in the same way some of them find it harder to apply this way of working to their routine and we are behind them all the time so they do not overlook it and we thus pinpoint those that do and those that don´t. We also asked civil society and journalists to show or pinpoint those who open their windows or those who close all doors. We are sort of "tutors" but we are hoping that they will soon be standing on their own two feet. We are at an 80% response rate to questions put to us but we cannot rest on our laurels as while there is a single answered answer our work will not be finished. To pressurise them we have installed a meter that spotlights how long it takes each politician to reply and thus, sometimes putting them to shame we also manage to change things from inside. Before giving you some figures, I will tell you that we do not compete for user traffic as we cannot apply the same online logic in an administration as in a private company. We are not worried where the dialogue occurs in other networks as I said before, in any other forum, on any other website. The important thing is that it occurs that in just two minutes, a single citizen with the world as a witness can publish their complaint, their concern, their initiative, their question without knowing whether or not open government websites exist. Citizens now have all the tools to be able to choose to put their initiatives to the public debate without having to blend in, if they don´t want to into a mass, collective, political party, trade. They can choose either to act in a group or acti individually. Because it is the nuance and the individual thanks to the Internet, they are also listened to. But the figures are also good which shows that the citizens are really interested in what their government does. We have more than one million hits more than half a million single users and you can imagine that the more than 225 proposals from the citizens cover every possible subject but I can assure you that they have nothing to do either with the headlines on the front pages of the papers or with the press releases that we send from the administrations. They have proposed, for example, that boxing is banned on public TV that marijuana is legalised that the politicians` salaries are cut and the topics that most interest them are always Education and Employment. And within the things that the government reports are particularly infraestructure and housing. And they also taken part to help draft more than 50 legal inititatives A great deal has happened in those two years that would be very difficult to summarise here now. but I do want to share an idea. Despite the paths and worlds that Internet and the new technologies open up for us also in the administrations we are clear that citizens and politicians have to make those journey together. Internally we have to foster those transparent and proactive attitudes because if we release data and if we release information and if we report it before we are asked about it, we are going to save a great deal of time and many, many resources the same way as if we explain the initiative right when it emerges. On the other hand, the degree of confidence of the citizen externally and there are increasingly many more participative, responsible and committed citizens is what Open Government measures successfully. I would like to end by sharing a reflection with you We are all part of this story, citizens, traditional civil society digital citizens, traditional civil society we all have something to contribute and with which to enrich this narrative so that we can turn it into something truly historical. And Bob Dylan put it much better in a song back iin the `60s of course I haven`t had to traslate it as other citizens did so before me. Come senators congressmen please heed the call don`t stand in the doorway don`t block up the hall for he that gets hurt will be he who gets stalled there`s a battle outside ragin` It will soon shake your windows and rattle your walls the time they are a-chagin` and the first one will later be last for the times they are a-changing And then I must add: And we are as well. Thank you.

Video Details

Duration: 13 minutes and 47 seconds
Country: Spain
Language: Spanish (Spain)
Genre: None
Producer: TEDx Madrid
Director: Antonella Broglia
Views: 115
Posted by: nagoredelosrios on Oct 7, 2012

She worked during 5 years as a journalist in the newsroom of some of the most important radio stations in Spain, and then as Press Communications Director for different spokepersons in basque institutions.In 2009 the process started to elect the first socialist Lehendakari. Following the path led by Barack Obama in the White House, the Lehendakari created the first Direction for an Open Government and Internet Communication in the spanish speaking world, and Nagore directed the design and launch of the first portal in spanish that materializes the principles of Transparency, Collaboration and Participation of the Open Goverment, Irekia (which means open in euskera). In this Talk, she shares her experience.

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