[Linux-aus] Explaining how the Digital Transformation Agency can learn collaboration from Open Source

Cameron Shorter cameron.shorter at gmail.com
Mon Feb 26 07:08:01 AEDT 2018

Hi folks,

I'm looking for reviews, and then signatures, for an Open Letter 
requesting the Australian Government should learn how to collaborate as 
effectively as Open Source.

If you can help with the review, then please ask me for edit access.

The Open Letter is here:


Warm regards, Cameron

On 20/2/18 9:38 am, Cameron Shorter wrote:
> The Australian Government has asked [1] for ideas for their next Open 
> Government National Action Plan. I think we need to respond and call 
> on government agencies to learn how to collaborate more effectively, 
> and to learn from our methodologies within the Open Source community.
> I think that it has been great that governments around the world have 
> embraced very positive principles around Open Government [2], but 
> their implementation has fallen short due to a lack of understanding 
> of what makes Open Communities work effectively.
> Selection of the term “open” (as in “open source”, “open data”, “open 
> government” ...) is a bit of a marketing blunder. It focuses on “what” 
> (free software) and distracts us from the more important questions of 
> “how” and “why”. Governments have been publishing "open" datasets but 
> not considering the more important aspects of collaboration and 
> project sustainability.
> I propose that Linux Australia submit an open letter recommending that 
> the Australian government recognise the limitations of current 
> government collaboration initiatives. We should provide practical 
> guidance on how government should address collaboration in the 
> upcoming Open Government National Action Plan.
> If others believe this is worth pursuing, I'm prepared put in a 
> significant amount of the work required to get such a proposal 
> written. (I have quite a bit of material which I can draw upon already).
> Questions:
> * What's involved in getting buy-in/approval to write something on 
> behalf of Linux Australia?
> * What process has been used in the past to collaboratively craft 
> responses from Linux Australia?
> * I suspect it would be valuable to collect signatures from multiple 
> organisations and individuals in order to add weight to the open 
> letter. Any suggestions on ways to achieve this?
> * Anyone else interested in helping crafting such as response?
> Who am I?
> For those who don't know me, I've been involved in the geospatial open 
> source community for over a decade. Of note, a few years ago I 
> co-authored [3] an open letter on behalf of open source community 
> which resulted in us successfully defending geospatial open standards.
> [1] 
> https://mailchi.mp/73feb7beca31/developing-australias-next-open-government-national-action-plan-2018-1107129?e=0429b6534e 
> [2] https://www.opengovpartnership.org/open-government-declaration
> [3] 
> https://tech.slashdot.org/story/13/06/03/2229245/gis-community-blocks-esris-geospatial-open-standard-rest-api 
Cameron Shorter
Technology Demystifier, Learnosity
Open Technologies Consultant

M +61 (0) 419 142 254

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