CivX 2013 Highlights

The transformative relationship between citizens and their governments was at the core of CivX 2013 that saw 12 thought leaders in open government and open data join a group of elected officials and staff to explore this important and emerging opportunity.

Local Government in the 21st Century – Open Government, Open Data and Open Future was co-hosted by the Lower Mainland Local Government Association CivicInfo BC and was designed to be an exploration of the fundamental cultural shift in our technologically-driven world for governments to be more accountable, transparent, innovative and performance oriented.

Open data, as defined by Wikipedia, is “the idea that certain data should be freely available to everyone to use and republish as they wish, without restrictions from copyright, patents or other mechanisms of control.” Still in its infancy, the biggest challenge in unlocking the power of government-owned data today is standardization. CivX speaker David Eaves likened this necessary evolution to the shipping industry transformation from unproductive hand-loaded bulk ships to highly efficient container-loaded ships back in the 1950s. 

The full-day workshop held at the SFU Wosk Centre for Dialogue on December 4 included presentations by speakers who offered unique, yet consistent, messaging regarding open data and governance – that there are unlimited possibilities when tapping into the creativity of citizens in a robust democracy. As open data pioneer Jury Konga, one of the first speakers at CivX said, open government is accountable, collaborative, innovative, transparent and ultimately smarter.

The message of CivX 2013 was that open government is the necessary pre-cursor to staying in step with the technology curve and unlocking this valuable public asset. Open data harnesses and makes available “humanity's collective wisdom”, which was also a key concept of “City 2.0” – the 2012 Ted Talks winning idea.
The LMLGA and CivicInfo BC wish to extend sincere thanks to the organizations that helped to sponsor this event:

Presentations from CivX2013, and other local government open data resources, can be found on the  CivicInfo BC website.

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