I am a very big believer in crowdsourcing as part of a strategy. The US Government this week is doing just that strategy! They are hosting an interactive and fun session taking place as we speak @ Open Gov Hub in Washington, DC and broadcasted to US Embassies and IBM locations in Africa.
Open Data is a transformational trend in Open Governance that is generating empowerment and economic growth. We are focused on huge volumes of Open Data that are published everywhere generating amazing opportunities to improve quality of lives from water consumption to agricultural enhancement and traffic optimization. Of course, these are all part of being a Smarter Planet.
In the opening from Nick Sinai – US Deputy Chief Technology Officer– he emphasized that data is the new natural resource and its role in governments for serving citizens. He also discussed IBM’s role with Bluemix as the base for the Jam!
We have unleashed social collaborations as the catalyst to drive this transformation! I am such a huge believer in Social Business and in government. This OpenJam is a great example.
As IBM and the US Goverment (USDA, Whitehouse, and USAID) host this one-day Open Data Jam as part of the US-African Leaders Summit, it enables a global sharing of experiences in Open Data publishing. These are real use cases that demonstrate growth and empowerment, develop skills and capabilities, and build a global community of Open Data developers who can help Africa become an Open Data leader. Data.gov is making more and more data available.
As we all know, data by itself is not valuable. You need apps, and analytics! Cell phone technology (SMS and Voice) is key in reaching masses in rural Africa for 2 way interactions; both for collecting data as well as providing knowledge back to citizens as well as for apps! This is where IBM Bluemix comes in — it is a cloud based platform that facilitates fast app building!
We know we can’t solve many problems in a day, but we think this will be an important first step towards building an international community who can work together to move Africa forward!