#OpenGov - Early Trials

June 16, 2015

Guelph was practicing aspects of its digital age strategy (Open Government) long before a complete framework was built.

In 2002, an innovative community engagement process was launched.  The community was invited to co-produce a set of sustainability principles to guide municipal planning.  These principles have since been integrated into the City’s growth plans.

The public was asked to participate as individuals not stakeholders. Some land developers and environmentalists were not happy with the process – they had lost their preferential access to policy makers as practiced stakeholders in a controlled and inaccessible system.

This reaction to change – even though over 1000 people were engaged – is a sign of things to come as the traditional roles of stakeholders will be inevitably upset by more open governance systems.

This is one of a series post in preparation for my participation on a panel called “Let’s Get Digital” at a smart cities conference in Rome.