The power of sharing
Sharing of strategy and experience can bring benefit to governments worldwide
The drive for smart government, smart cities and other government innovation is often described in the terms of a race or a competition. Goals are set, deadlines are set, and there is often a real sense of competition between entities to be the first to market, to deploy the most innovative solutions or to have the most widely-adopted apps. Much of the ecosystem around technology innovation is often driven by hackathons and similar competitions which set teams of contestants against each other.
While the competitive element is very important in encouraging government innovation — every government should strive to be the best and to do the best it can for its citizens — it is equally important to realise that the ‘race’ for smart government can bring benefits for all, not just the ‘winners’. In the field of government, collaboration and sharing should hold as much importance as competition, so that all can benefit from the advances made in technology and innovation.
Co-operation both between government entities and between governments on an international level can allow organisations to build on the knowledge and expertise they have gained for themselves, and help others to also create solutions for the benefit of their citizens. More co-operation between government and private sector can benefit both parties, by sharing technical know-how to create solutions that will benefit the public and that can also be used commercially to stimulate economic activity.
It is in this area where events such as the World Government Summit play an important role in fostering the spirit of co-operation between government entities. Showcasing the achievements of organisations can be accompanied by open dialogue and a willingness to share ideas across borders. Through working with different entities, organisations can gain insights and perspectives on an issue that they may not have had for themselves. Of course, each city or country has its own unique challenges to tackle, and many government solutions will not be ‘one size fits all’ but the more that can be done to share knowledge and expertise between governments, the better. When the final goal is better services for the benefit of the public, sharing means that everyone can win in the race for smart government.