Let’s keep talking about the Web sites: The Digital State Tour

By: Sandford BorinsAlong with co-authors David Brown and Ken Kernaghan, I'll be taking our book Digital State at the Leading Edgeon the road in the next two weeks, with presentations in Hamilton (Nov. 28), Regina (Dec. 3), Calgary (Dec. 4), Whitehorse (Dec. 5), Vancouver (Dec. 6), and Victoria (Dec. 7). The presentations are sponsored by regional groups of the Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC), and IPAC members and the public are equally welcome. You will find links to details regarding each presentation and registration on the Web site www.digitalstate.caIn our book, we ask the fundamental question of whether IT is transforming government. To provide an analogy, as an academic the essence of my work is teaching and research, just as it was twenty years ago. But IT has radically changed how I do my work. Similarly, politicians' essential work is still competing for power and, when in power, setting policy and the fundamental work of public servants remains advising politicians and providing public services. The transformational question is how new information technologies such as e-mail and the Internet are affecting the way politicians and public servants do their work.In Digital State at the Leading Edge, we told the story of IT-based transformation of the Canadian government from 2000 up to early 2006. We have been following developments in the last 18 months, and in the seminars we will provide an update on the current state of the transformation. In addition, I will be looking at what happens when IT-savvy politicians take office, a theme of several of my recent blog posts. Co-author David Brown will be exploring the federal government's Government on-Line initiative as well as recent developments in online service delivery. Co-author Ken Kernaghan will discuss integrated multi-channel multi-government service delivery.We have kept abreast of IT-based developments in Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia and the Yukon, and will also share the podium with several speakers from those jurisdictions.This seminar tour is being made possible by a Public Outreach Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the agency through which the federal government supports academic research in the social sciences and humanities. In recent years, SSHRC has put an increased emphasis on researchers discussing their results with practitioners and the general public, and that is what we are doing on this tour – just as I have been doing with this blog.So I invite readers of this blog in the locations we will be visiting to continue the conversation, this time face-to-face.

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