Open government talk buzzes across Canada


, an expert in social technology and open government who developed the model and acted as an advisor to the City of Toronto on the launch of in November 2009, agreed with Eaves' concerns.

But another challenge to keep in mind is "how you think about service delivery" because "how you design an open system is different than an industrial process," he said. We are "in the midst of a transition from an industrial hierarchical model ... into something that resembles a network," he said.

Government-as-a-platform is about "government recognizing itself as an important node in a network, but not an exclusive monopoly on the role of creating public good," said Kuznicki. There are a lot of things "we can do outside government to create public goods through co-creation."

The potential for real cost savings is huge, said Kuznicki. "Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent on technology and not always effectively," he said. Kuznicki said "(you) can't put a price tag on the relationship between government and citizens."

Not only may government not want to build an iPhone app for every municipal service that exists, "it actually can't do that," said Kuznicki. "There is not enough money to do everything people expect," which is a very strong incentive for government to provide possibilities for others to innovate on top of, he said.