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Videos Worth Watching: Government – Not Just a Platform but a Platform for “Greatness”

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[Rich and provocative events are blossoming around the country, scattered across the calendar. While we don’t have the luxury of attending many of these events, video-streaming can bring the events to us. But what to watch? With this periodic “Videos Worth Watching” series, we suggest some of our favorites.]

Tim O’Reilly
Government as a Platform for Greatness, 12 min 12 sec
Gov 2.0 Expo 2010

This 2010 talk is a bit of a classic. Tim O’Reilly helps explain the evolving idea of the role of government away from “vending machine government” to “government as platform.” O’Reilly explains that government as platform implies that instead of “saying we’re going to deliver the final complete package” we “start designing programs that are enablers”: instead of solving problems, government makes it easier for others to solve problems.

He goes beyond this simple message to imagine a much more ambitious transition, a great re-write or “a whole new rev” of government. He uses examples of past government greatness including the Founding Fathers literally risking “hanging together,” Thomas Jefferson pushing for public education, the huge US contribution to Europe via the Marshall Plan, and “crowdsourcing’ during the Berlin airlift.

The 2010 Gov 2.0 conference also included talks by several other prominent thinkers:


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