Deb Bryant on open source at the Tech@State unconference

Deb Bryant, public sector communities manager at the Oregon State University Open Source Lab, kicked off the Tech@State unconference on open source at the National Democratic Institute today.

The short video below, capturing some of her thoughts on the evolution of open source in government, are worth considering, particularly with respect its use internationally. As Bryant pointed out, for instance, Brazil has been doing open source for a decade. “They’re really the Simon Bolivar of software down there.”

The schedule for the Tech@State unconference is evolving at Open4m.org/NDI. It bids to be an interesting day.

Exploring Civil Society 2.0 at the State Department

The Tech@State conference on Civil Society 2.0 offered insight into the future of technology and civics around the world from┬ádigital diplomats, nonprofit leaders and technologists. Tim O’Reilly delivered one of the most thoughtful lectures I’ve seen to date, exploring the factors that led to the success of the Web, Google, Microsoft, Amazon and the platforms that undergird our digital world.

“As you think about civil society 2.0, think about open ended platforms that you can build on, not just applications,” he said.

While his comments and those of the other presenters deserve more analysis and reporting, the four excerpts from O’Reilly’s talk below offer immediate access to the insight he shared. I’ll write more at Radar soon.

For more perspective on what civil society might mean in 2010 – or 2050 – read Nancy Scola at techPresident.