Hacking the “Guanxi” of dot Gov

This is my workshop proposal for http://opendatacon.org in Ottawa, Canada.

Hacking the “Guanxi” of dot Gov – How to link invisible stakeholders, build sustained momentum, lift whole new generation of interested parties, and other tales from the denizens.


Taiwan is unofficially recognized as one of Asia’s hotbeds of open government data. Since 2009, Taiwan’s open government scene has ebbed and flowed as various parties made vital contributions to its growth and development. In 2014, the accumulated efforts of Taiwan’s open government advocates broke into the mainstream, playing a valuable role in protest movements, and took Taiwan’s democratic process by surprise when it became a critical part of last year’s elections.

The future of open data for Taiwan is huge, but not without conflict. Despite a newfound interest in open data from all sectors, and a dedicated community of open-government advocates that are able to create recognizable social and political impact, the economic and business potential for open data in Taiwan has not come to fruition.

This session will be the first walkthrough on how Taiwan has created its vibrant open data scene. Taiwan’s open data scene has been cultivated through a formidable social network of government agencies (colloquially known as “guanxi” in Taiwan), which has simultaneously set the tone and agenda of open data development from the inside-out. In addition, a genuine interest has blossomed among the public through hacking of open data portals, which has pushed massive community engagement, leading to Taiwan’s fast-evolving open data ecosystem.

We will share critical contributions and lessons learned from Taiwan’s open-data/open-government advocacy/entrepreneurial groups, including YSTaiwan, Open Data Taiwan, OK Taiwan, Code for Tomorrow, and most recently, g0v.

We are calling for a fundamental shift. A new mechanism to exchange information between regional stakeholders is needed in order to tackle civic issues that emerge from East Asia’s fast-urbanizing cities, and also engages with a new generation of young people that feels lost to an archaic model of governance, and are now devising their own government initiatives through open data.

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