Sunspots: The Promise and Pitfalls of Gov 2.0
Open government and transparency activists asked for it: data available through open APIs and digital formats. Now that we have some of it, the dark spots on the sun are beginning to appear. The data are sometimes poor cousins to the records actually used to administer government or do its business, created as side systems or even fake records for public consumption and suffering from neglect at the hands of their overtaxed makers. Balancing privacy with widespread data releases sometimes leave the records too general for use in holding government accountable, and leave crucial data locked in technological and physical file cabinets. Records stored on paper and its electronic siblings are the forgotten members of the family. The panel, representing three viewpoints on transparency and its role in democracy, will highlight successes and failures in the recent transparency and open government movements and suggest solutions for data users and providers.
Sarah Cohen is the Knight chair in journalism at Duke University and the founder of the Reporters' Lab, a program to improve investigative reporting methods. She was a reporter and editor for more than 15 years, most of that time at The Washington Post. Her work has earned the Pulitzer Prize in Investigative Reporting and other national awards. She also serves on the board of directors of Investigative Reporters and Editors.
Vivek Kundra is executive vice president, emerging markets of salesforce.com.
Previously, Kundra was appointed as the first United States Chief Information Officer by President Obama and is credited with saving billions in taxpayer dollars, adopting game-changing technologies, strengthening the cybersecurity posture of the nation and launching an open government movement which has been replicated around the world. Prior to joining the Obama administration, Kundra served as the Chief Technology Officer for the District of Columbia and as the Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Technology for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Kundra also served as a fellow at Harvard University at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society and the Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy. He has also served in leadership roles in the private sector.
The World Economic Forum selected Kundra as a 2011 Young Global Leader, representing a group of exceptional young leaders who share a commitment to shaping the global future. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Kundra was named 2011 Government Executive of the year by TechAmerica; the 2009 Chief of the Year by InformationWeek; and 2008 IT Executive of the Year for his pioneering work to drive transparency, engage citizens and lower the cost of government operations.