Dublin – at the Core of eGov and Open Data this June

As happened last year, the third week of June 2013 sees several important collocated meetings relevant to the public sector’s use of ICT. The centerpiece is the European Commission’s Digital Agenda Assembly, a series of high level workshops and plenary sessions focused on digital skills, entrepreneurship and growth. The event is being held in Dublin as Ireland is the current holder of the rotating European Presidency and puts many key players in the same place at the same time providing an excellent opportunity for other meetings to be scheduled.

W3C is involved in two such meetings. First, the Crossover Project’s International Conference on Policy Making 2.0. This is the culmination of a research project to establish how ICT is transforming government and how it can be put to ever better use. Open data, big data, policy modeling, crowdsourcing, serious gaming and opinion mining are all aspects of this that are covered in detail in the Crossover Research Roadmap. This highly detailed document captures input from experts in many different fields and is likely to be highly influential in shaping research into future uses of ICT for governance and policy making. As well as the research roadmap the Crossover project will present a prize to the best policy making 2.0 application – submissions are open until the end of this week.

After the DAA, attention turns to SEMIC – The Semantic Interoperability Conference 2013. The European Commission’s ISA Programme is a major effort to increase interoperability between public sector systems across Europe. There are many strands to this initiative but from a W3C perspective it’s been an important input to the Government Linked Data Working Group‘s vocabularies both in terms of development and implementation experience. That experience – of public sector bodies working within their national frameworks to deliver interoperable services across borders and across sectors – is at the heart of the SEMIC conference.

Open data has had its first flush of excitement. Now the results of early implementations are in and we’re looking at consolidation, greater interoperability, and building a more sustainable ecosystem that encompasses not just government data but scientific and cultural heritage data – and not all of it necessarily open. The events in Dublin next month are all part of the process that is shaping what W3C does next to ensure that the unique power of the Web is used to maximum effect when connecting governments and citizens. Expect more on that story in the coming weeks but for now, I urge anyone with an interest in these topics to head for Dublin in June.