I consider Martin Luther King a personal hero of mine. As a child I didn’t always have the guidance I thought I needed, but luckily had a public library available and the ability to read the words of incredible leaders to give me some guidance in the way I considered the world and the way I would ultimately arrange my life. MLK was a huge part of that and I consider his orientation every time I consider a new movement, a new direction or a new project.
So, how would MLK think about Government2.0? Would he be concerned about the expenditure on technology instead of directly on people. Would he be concerned about building platforms as opposed to direct aid? I dont think so. I believe he would embrace it, in particular the application of the Social Enterprise to Government. Because, at its core, this new technology enables the true connection of individual spirits and souls in concerted activity with the ability to unlock the latent aspirations inside those fighting to pull themselves up in society.
As we connect we see people in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Bahrain, Iran and Syria embracing technology to unlock their souls. And I have seen, heard and tweeted about friends in those areas standing up to regimes empowered only by a mobile device, rough video footage or the daring nature of a singular tweet to take down the repression of regimes with weapons with more direct consequence. It is this type of action that makes me believe that MLK would embrace the social technology revolution in governments throughout the world. When his revolution was effective we saw regimes move to suppress such conversations in their own societies. Our social technologies in a civic context are working to liberate those voices, through technology, one ward at a time.
And in the United States we are seeing the same. The civic conversation is happening in the cloud. Tweets organized Occupy Wall Street. The Tea Party embraces new modes of communication. Labor Union’s have long leveraged social media to organize. Voices are rising and modern governments in the States will realize that this is a huge opportunity here, as opposed to a threat. The engagement of our citizens is something we have long needed, long lacked and long fought for. A giant inside the United States has been awakened. Our technology enables that voice. And our government now has the call to respond, or step aside.