May 24, 2010

What's IP got to do with Community Participation and E-Gov - from ARK Sydney KM Conference

A Patent examination presentation was not where I expected to hear of Gov 2.0 - but that is what you get when you attend conferences like ARK's KM Sydney conference - you get exposed to people well outside of your usual discipline area - that cross fertilisation has got to be positive in the short through to long term.

I'd spent about 20 years in local politics - including over 12 as an elected Ward Councillor in my local Council. Along the way a lot of older community activists did a lot of knowledge sharing with me - embueing the concept of communities contributing to their local council. So we had dozens of community liaision committees - from Libraries to Heritage, to Cycleways to Sport to Arts & Culture. There was simply so much knowledge possessed by the community members of our Council Community Liaison Committees. I also started developing a Councillor Internet Web presence as a communication tool from 1996 - one of the first in Australia as it turned out. So I didn't need too much convincing of the value of Gov 2.0 tools - so long as this didn't create a digital divide - excluding those with less access to the internet or with less skills.

A favourite would have to be where the Cycleway Community Liaison reps went back to their communities and surveyed them as to where they would like the cycleways to be extended as the council found funding. Council & RTA engineers working with school teachers & steelworker commuter cyclists - so much knowledge and good will.

Early on, in local government training sessions for new councillors, I was exposed to Arnstein's Ladder of Consultation & Participation - ie  from telling the community nothing through to an all too often seemingly utopian ideal of full democratic decisionmaking.

Obviously I am a big fan of any initiative that promotes community social capital. So it was intriguing to hear Paulette Paterson cover E-Gov in her Patents presentation on Developing & Nurturing Knowledge Flows – Peer to Patent Case Study at the ARK Sydney KM conference.

Key facts

  • Value of patents to Australia  = $12 billion pa
  • 2000 patents granted each year in Australia


To some Peer to Patent might seem a more dry subject but in fact Paulette described it intriguingly as an Innovation Ecosystem, part of Gov 2.0, to promote the disclosure of discoveries & follow on generation of ideas - also seen as a legal framework in which to trade ideas - which is so vital to Australia's economic future & well being

She observed

  • Ordinary people possess extraordinary knowledge they are willing to share when it is easy to do so – Crowdsourcing underpins peer to patent concept
  • People need to share what they already know, in order to achieve more & innovate – a swirl – not linear – aided by Web 2.0 to make the connections

I couldn't agree more with her observation : "Govts need to recognise that they can’t do things alone – need citizen participation"


Also interesting were her references to Arnstein's Ladder of Consultation & Participation - now being seen in its 21st Century incarnation as Crowdsourcing. In fact crowdsourcing was an approach utilised by the New York Law School on open public participation in patent examination process between 2007 and 2009.




Posted via web from kerrieannesfridgemagnets's posterous

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