I am one of a generation in which openness grew. Open communication, and still attempting to be true. Those themes were 'hot'. And luckily, such a period is not unique. Of course there always are processes in which it is impossible to be fully open at any moment. Some topics are sensible business wise or political and can better be traded with in a small committee.
It went pretty well with the 'openness' as far as I am concerned. Also in hierarchical relations: child – parent, employee – boss, citizen – government.
I wanted to talk a bit more about that government. Not with thoughts about 'open politics' and 'behind closed doors' being objectionable or not. That's something I can do at other places.
Here I want to talk about our authorities and open data and open tools. As a result of the growing awareness in the society around IT and the costs and risks of closed software and closed file-formats, the Dutch Parliament in that time expressed itself in the famous resolution "Vendrik": open source and open standards are important and the government has to promote those. That has been nearly ten years ago, November 2002. Since then, there have been two government programs promoting open source and open standards: OSOSS en NoiV. The projects did contribute a lot to the awareness of these subjects. We did not see, up until know, a strong government program that really pushes the case, shows more doing then talking.
A lot did happen though the past years. And developments will not stop. A good opportunity to see that, is the forthcoming congress Open Overheid (Open Government), May 31 in Utrecht.
Your reporter will be there with his company Nou&Off, contributing strength to the open source office-part. And there are other important subjects. What would you think of "Economical impact, How open standards and software can contribute to economical growth and cost savings"? To me that looks as an extremely useful theme is these times of economical transitions. There are many talented people in our country that are well equipped to write ad improve software. And then of course I mean open source using free open standards. That work can be much more profitable for authorities, administrations and other organizations then already is the case now. A smart government makes such very clear, invests in this direction, rather then shipping millions of Euro's each year.
Hey, while finishing the last sentence, someone points me to this petition: responsible use of resources by public administrations. Pls, do sign it!