One of my last gigs for the Hansard Society was a presentation to the Global Centre of ICT in Parliament in Geneva. It was for a workshop leading up to the Centre’s full-blown conference the next day.
I won’t say black when you say tomato when you say tomato; my outlook is sunny; I’m not in-your-face. But, yes, while a lot of the presentations at the workshop were rosy, I delivered a downbeat critique of how parliaments have approached innovation.
Have a read at the transcript and let me know your thoughts.
I did not say that parliaments haven’t got involved in innovation. I stated that they had but explained that they did it badly and it was affecting their ability to do their core business – representation, scrutiny and law-making – in our contemporary societies.
The delegates at the workshop were representing parliaments from across the world. I’ve apologised to the few of them who felt uncomfortable. But I also pointed out to them that many more delegates had said they appreciated the objectivity and some even showed the presentation to their bosses to strengthen their cases for more and better ICT innovation. Some used it as it a carrot, some used it as a stick.
Parliaments have to admit to using ICT poorly and that their probing and planning of what it might do for them in the future has been particularly defective. The good news is that putting things right is an inexpensive, quick-win waiting to happen to parliaments.
My first bit of advice to parliaments? Sign up to get involved in the international community of practice being put together by the team at the Global Centre.