The inaugural Gov 2.0 Expo
May 26th, 2010

From May 25th-27th 2010, DC will witness the first ever Gov 2.0 Expo, co-produced by UBM TechWeb & O’Reilly Conferences. The Gov 2.0 Expo is not to be confused with the Gov 2.0 Summit, which has gone down in DC in September for the past two years. While the Summit is an invite-only intimate dialogue about the higher-level meaning and implications of Government 2.0, the Expo is an all-welcoming practice-oriented showcase of case studies, lessons learned, and tools of the trade. The four conference tracks consist of Policy, Technology, Challenges, and People, and speakers and attendees include technology professionals, activists, academics, and government contractors, consultants, and policymakers at municipal, state, and federal levels, both domestic and international. Governments worldwide are adopting the same 2.0 technologies that enable smart mobs in order to make themselves more transparent, participatory, and collaborative.

Tuesday was a day of “workshops,” teaching everything from how to use 2.0 technologies to engage Hispanic communities to best practices in smartphone app development, and the Expo Hall, which opened today, features a cornucopia of companies servicing the ever-proliferating Gov 2.0 industry, plus an Innovators Pavilion and Nonprofit Pavilion. The fact that after two Summits, Gov 2.0 is ready for an Expo like this manifests the trajectory of this field: from an intimate higher-level dialogue to a broader on-the-ground exhibit and conversation, complementing existing theory with emerging practice. Granted, theory still presents itself at the Expo, but we’re here to get our hands a dirty.

I also wanted to note that Gov 2.0 events are, in the words of Expo program co-chair Laurel Ruma, “very good friends with the Personal Democracy Forum,” a forum exploring the implications of technology on politics and government. The Personal Democracy Forum (PDF) has been happening since 2004 in New York City and once in Barcelona, the next one is June 3rd-4th in NYC, and Howard will be speaking there as part of a panel on Government as if Listening Mattered, and on his own about Rethinking Community, Literacy and the Public Sphere.

Big thanks to Laurel for taking the time to chat and orchestrating such a fantastic program! I’ll be blogging about the Expo for the next few days, and if you’re here, feel free to connect with me: @stequoianie.

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