“Legally Blonde 2.0” – SoCal Spook at Harvard

Shout out to Chris Rasmussen, a former colleague in the intell biz who emails that he’ll be speaking on uses of Web 2.0 approaches in the Intelligence Community at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government in June…. as he put it in his email, “I’m pretty sure Danish dudes from southern California have been legallyblonde2.jpgblacklisted from Harvard for hundreds of years. Well the times are changing.”

Chris has been involved in social-networking and other 2.0 efforts in the IC, both at the enterprise level and in grass-roots form — accomplishing the latter and encouraging the former (strongly).  The Kennedy School program, “Web 2.0: Taking Action in Government”  is advertised as “examining the lessons learned from first movers in both business and government and distilling what actions government leaders must now take to harness the power of these new tools and business models.”  (more info here

I especially like that the conference is being organized with the help of Don Tapscott, co-author of  an excellent book: Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything.

I’m particularly interested in which government agencies are sending which employees to the KSG program (i.e. civil or military, what mix of officials, what level, what background, whether technical, “functional,” or managerial).  The Intelligence Community’s focus on Web 2.0 tools and approaches has been almost entirely centered on better collaboration and better analysis – in other words, internally focused.  Other government agencies are beginning to understand that social networks, crowd-sourcing, and wisdom-of-crowds approaches can be used in an externally focused way, aimed at improving the relationship between citizen and government.  Since I think of that as KSG’s ultimate mission – improving our civic polity – I’ll be really interested to hear how this conference succeeds and about its followup.

When I hear from Chris how it went I’ll post on that, as well.  Sadly he blogs only on a classified network, unlinkable from here :-)  Those pesky government regulations!

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