“open source is where I think the future is headed in local government…”

So, I’m in Dublin tomorrow for the OGP Europe Regional conference in Dublin in advance of next week’s Digital Lunch asking if Northern Ireland is ready for an open government partnership? If you are interesting in the subject, do keep an eye on Twitter throughout the day, and I’ll update with a blog report on Friday morning before I leave again.

Thinking in practical terms regarding Northern Ireland it strikes me that one area which could be wide open for new and innovative engagement with their equally new (and, erm, slightly bewildered electorates) are the new council areas set up under RPA.

So from the US,Mark Dixon speaks on the challenges and opportunities facing local government in the US, talks about archaic institutions history and the maintenance nightmare of software infrastructure… With a great line buried in there, “now we’ve run out of money, we gotta think…”

I love the fact we’re doing a lot of work on open data and open source that’s where I think the future is headed in local government. It’s already happened in higher education. I think gaming and simulation on a regional basis and regional clouds is where we’re going to need to go.

You can watch the whole four minute here:

In order to gauge interest amongst local civil society in making this happen, theBuilding Change Trust is organising a seminar on OGP on Friday 16th May in Belfast, entitled ‘The Open Government Partnership – a Path to Transparency, Accountability and Participation in Northern Ireland?’.

There will be a keynote input by Tim Hughes from Involve, who is Coordinator of the UK Open Government Partnership Civil Society Network, there will be additional contributions from TASC IrelandAmnesty International‘s Patrick Corrigan andProfessor Rick Wilford from Queen’s University Belfast, as well as a range of local VCSE sector representatives.

You can register for the Belfast seminar, which is free and open to all, here.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty