OpeningUp is a €3.7M international collaboration that I set up for a group of 8 European partners in 2011. OpeningUP ‘opened up’ new opportunities for businesses and governments to develop new and transformative services by pivoting to use social media channels to deliver services, and by adopting open data to better target and deliver services.
Why social media?
Social media is now a key part of our daily lives – but it has been a challenge for governments to pivot to use these new channels – for both communication and for service delivery. The challenge for governments and companies is to create custom tools and approaches that work with these new channels, and to integrate their services with social networks.
Why open data?
At the same time that channels and platforms are opening up between citizens, businesses and governments, there is an increasing move toward the opening up of information through the formal and informal release of large datasets. Citizens, businesses and governments need to develop both the technical skills and organisational skills to work with this material to become more evidence-based and demand-driven
What will OpeningUP deliver?
OpeningUp has 6 objectives:
1. Understand the implications of social media for service delivery
OpeningUP will identify the significant opportunities and challenges social media networks provide for municipalities, governments and businesses. It will facilitate transition towards services that develop, collect, share and use information, and to move from ‘one-size-fits-all’ delivery towards customised approaches to service delivery. These new approaches will be more responsive to user needs and will be able to both integrate knowledge about users and to learn from users .
2. Identify new opportunities in social media and social networks
OpeningUP will highlight the new opportunities social media bring to transform service delivery. These include the ability to develop new forms of collaborative networks and of new forms of collaborative working. Leveraging crowd-sourcing, the role of user-generated content, and building user-led services are significant new ways of working with citizens to deliver better services.
3. Making business social
Large numbers of European firms describe themselves as social media ‘averse’ (24% in the UK and 44% in Sweden, vs. 5% of US firms). These firms face a range of challenges, including the need for organisational and cultural changes if they are to successfully work in these new, non-traditional environments and channels.
4. Making government social
The significant growth in data and feedback for organisations to analyse and respond to from social media provides a significant challenge to existing ways of working. Organisations need to learn how to become much more proactive and reactive in response to citizen/user feedback.
5. Developing customer led-services
The project will develop new ways of establishing and integrating new forms of collaborative networks and collaborative working. This will include leveraging crowd-sourcing, user-generated content and user-led services as part of an ongoing process of service delivery/improvement are significant new ways of working with citizens.
5. Working with open data
At the same time that channels and platforms are opening up between citizens, businesses and governments, there is an increasing move toward the opening up of information, primarily through the formal and informal release of large datasets. Citizens, businesses and governments need to develop both the technical skills to work with this material (e.g. how to use data-mining to improve services) and the organisational skills to become more evidence-based and demand-driven.