Thursday, April 12, 2012
Articles from across the Web that we found interesting, the week of April 09, 2012.
  • Collaborative Consumption.  The Sharing Economy has come to government, at least in the form of car sharing.  Alex Howard has a great article that not only details two cities' experiences in car sharing (Boston and DC), but has some great links to other resources on the general topic of collaborative consumption.
  • A Different Kind of Participatory Budgeting.  GovFresh profiles CivicSponsor, a startup that is helping people crowdfund the development of public spaces.
  • A Roundup in a Roundup. Because it's so postmodern, here's a roundup of "23 bright ways to use social media in the public sector"

Dr. John Bordeaux

  • Four years ago, we marveled at the organizing power of Obama for America.  Here is a thoughtful essay regarding the missed opportunities as the campaign turned to governing - how did it do in representing truly grassroots change?
  • What if the Pentagon embraced crowd-sourcing within its manufacturing supply chain?  Would that reduce design-to-production cycles?  DARPA would like to find out
  • Evolution is a tricky mistress.  We grew up knowing it meant "survival of the fittest!"  If you had, for example, a strong immune system, you were more likely to pass your genes on for the benefit of your species, right?  But… what if your social ranking created changes in your physical immune system?  A recent study suggests indeed that status drives immunity, at least for the rhesus monkey.  This is, to say the least, an interesting twist on how we understand social standing and health.

Dan Chenok

John Kamensky

  • Plain Language, In Style.  Can’t believe that something as mundane as the Plain Writing Act has made it to the front page of the Washington Post Style section!  But it has, and probably only in Washington!  Guess it helps that there are colorful advocates, such as Annetta Cheek, to be featured.
  • Open Gov 2.0 Updates. Federal News Radio’s Jason Miller reports in “Agencies Lay Out Plans for Open Gov 2.0” that the White House has announced a refresh of agency Open Government plans.  Each agency’s plan is on its own website.  While the White House Open Gov Dashboard doesn’t look updated from when it was first posted in 2010, the links there will serve as a ‘one-stop” to take you to each agency’s updated plan.
  • NASA Going to the Cloud.  As part of its Open Government Plan, NASA says it will move its operations to the cloud and use open source software wherever possible.  According to Information Week, NASA is building an entirely new Web architecture to do this.
  • CTO Council. NextGov reports that “The White House is in the process of launching a new council of federal technology officers who will be tasked with sharing insights and solving problems across government.” . . . Guess  that means there are finally enough Chief Technology Officers in the government to hold a meeting!
  • Serious Games.  Government Executive’s Dawn Lin has written a very intriguing article on the use of Game Theory in government.  She says the challenge is to figure out “how good game design can channel the passion for playing into answering scientific questions.”  This topic is seen as significant by the White House as well, where a senior policy analyst is developing a cross-agency network to bring together diverse agencies around the potential of using game theory to address a wide variety of issues.  This begins to take the book on the use of gaming theory, “Reality Is Broken,” and move to the next level (no pun intended)!


The Business of Government Radio Show: Robert J Osborn II

Federal News Radio 1500-AM 
Mondays at 11 a.m., Wednesdays at 12 p.m., Fridays at 2  p.m. 

The Business of Government Hour features a conversation about management with a government executive who is changing the way government does business. The executives discuss their careers and the management challenges facing their organizations.

Robert J Osborn II has recently been appointed to be the NNSA Transformation Executive and will lead the agency's move to “OneNNSA.”  He is a member of the Senior Executive Service, is currently the Associate Administrator for Information Management and Chief Information Officer for the National Nuclear Security Administration under the Department of Energy. 


Broadcast Schedule: The show airs Monday, April 16, at 11 a.m., Wednesday, April 18, at noon, and Friday, April 20, at 2:00 PM on Federal News Radio 1500AM WFED

If you can't wait, though, you can listen to (or download) this week's program and all our previous interviews at and by searching our audio archives.