I have been “dressing the same” with more and more friends recently. This is not because we buy clothes at the same store, but the result of openness. My colleagues made a unique T-shirt with open-source materials. The T-shirt is printed with the Sustainable Development Goals’ “17 color wheel” logo and the words “Taiwan Can Help” on it. The design drawings are all open and everyone can print one.
🌎 In early November, I visited Canada with my coworkers. Together with the local citizen technology community, we ran a workshop in Toronto to discuss the topic of “platform economy” with civil servants, people and NGOs at all levels.
🍁 In the workshop, we shared vTaiwan’s experience in dealing with the platform economy issue. “vTaiwan” is a project conceived by the “gov zero” (g0v.tw) community in Taiwan. Through collaboration between the private sector and the government, it collected the ideas of stakeholders such as relevant ministries, service providers, platform operators and users, and finally concluded with consensus. The local citizen technology community in Toronto was amazed and immediately began to plan “g0v.ca”.
🍕 On the other side of the Atlantic, “g0v.it” has emerged in Europe. In June of this year, a minister who is responsible for “direct democracy” appeared in the joint cabinet of Italy for the first time. How civil society works with the government has become a top priority for the Italian community. The establishment of g0v.it was also inspired by the Taiwanese experience.
🌍 When I was invited to the Vatican in March this year, I introduced g0v’s spirit, that is, “Don’t ask why no one is doing this; first admit that you are ‘no one’.” One of the audiences, Stefano Quintarelli, the Italian Congressman who invited me to the Holy See, immediately learned from Taiwan, and together with his like-minded friends, finally chose to introduce g0v’s first project “Budget Visualization”.
🔄 Our Italian friends believe that this project is presented very intuitively, helps people understand the budget allocation and leaves room for discussion. Therefore, they used the original project’s open-source material to describe how Italian government uses the budget. Just click on the website “g0v.it” and you are free to use it.
🚸 The experience in Canada and Italy reminds me of a friend I met in the Vatican, Jeffrey Sachs, a Columbia University professor who was responsible for designing the Sustainable Development Goals. At g0v.it’s opening ceremony, he said: What g0v does makes the discussion of the matter become “interesting” again. This is the infrastructure that global democracy now needs most.
🌏 I agree with Sachs: The more people make contributions, the more opportunities there are to reimagine and build new democracy. The complete open source of g0v is not only social innovation but also democratic innovation. “Taiwan Can Help” is not just a slogan on a T-shirt.