Today Jonathan Reichental (http://www.reichental.com/), CIO (chief information officer) of Palo Alto visited the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs. He was invited here by my Polderhack colleague Anne Bruinsma. I had the opportunity to speak with him about his views on open government and open data.
Palo Alto can be called the capital of Silicon Valley. Within a few kilometers you find Facebook, Google, Apple, HP and many other techgigants from our daily lives. To be CIO of such a place is special to say the least. Silicon Valley is a place that I also enjoy visiting for years already for its bustling energy and entrepreneurship.
Jonathan is a big advocate of open data, especially for governments. He sees open data as an opportunity for governments to involve their citizens in government. By enabling citizens to be involved in public affaris and by facilitating transparancy and serving data to citizens and companies, governments make it possible for everybody to partake in better city government.
On initiative of Jonathan, Palo Alto has therefore signed a proclamation on February 3rd, 2014, becoming an ‘open data by default’-city. In Jonathan’s own words: http://www.reichental.com/?p=634. Take a look at the data shared by Palo Alto: http://data.cityofpaloalto.org/ (note: take a look also at open data from the Dutch government and the city of Amsterdam, since 2012).
During his talk, Jonathan pleads for a new operating systeem for government (I guess you’re a techie or not..;-) ) based on 4 ingredients: culture, data, engagement and smart. It all revolves around involving citizens and entrepreneurs in city governance in a 21st century way: with lots of open data. And I love that Jonathan organizes hackathons to support openness 😉
On February 22nd 2014 he was interviewed during the National Congres Open Data in the Netherlands. Take a look at the interview here: http://openeindhoven.nl/nationaal-congres-2014/interview-jonathan-reichental/
Finally a beautiful quote by Jonathan:
” open data is a weapon of mass democracy”