Gov 2.0 Hero: Steve Ressler

 

Steve Ressler

What was your path to Gov 2.0?

I co-founded a group called Young Government Leaders, a professional organization that now consists of over 2,000 federal employees. I was responsible for launching our first website as well as our presence on sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and MySpace. Based on my experience with YGL and these other social networks, I saw a true need for an online community devoted to the government sector where we could focus on sharing best practices and ideas to improve government. Thus GovLoop.com was born and it is often used as one of the case studies of Gov 2.0.

What area of government offers the biggest opportunity for improvement via Web 2.0 tools?

Leveraging the wisdom of crowds. I think there are two major groups we can leverage. First, we can truly leverage the ton of knowledge inside the government already through new tools, collaboration platforms and social networks. Second, we can begin to bring citizens into the discussions and together we can solve the key issues we face.

What’s the killer app that will make Gov 2.0 the norm instead of the exception?

Ideagoras. For years, government has been looking for a way to get input from employees and citizens. Suggestion boxes have always been around for employees to get ideas to senior leaders. Townhalls and meetings have been used to get citizen input on important issues. Now there are ways to get these ideas quickly and also get collaboration and peer-voting. True, we are still working through how to handle haters, flamers and special interest groups. But I think this is a huge opportunity for the government to start truly listening internally and externally.

What part of Gov 2.0 most excites you?

The opportunity to be part of a revolution in the way government does business. I think this is more than just another stage of e-government but a change in culture and mindset as well. I think there will be huge changes in the next five years in how government operates and it excites me to be part of the change.

Luke Fretwell is the founder of GovFresh and a strategy consultant for CivicActions and NuCivic. More about him here. He can be reached at luke@govfresh.com.