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GOSCON: The Impact of Open Source Software on Transforming Government

by xavier last modified 2008-10-30 16:33

Government Open Source Conference (GOSCON), Oregon State University and the World Bank’s e-Development Thematic Group have partnered to deliver a live webcast of a joint videoconferenced Global Dialogue workshop on the role of open source software in government transformation.

Based on an article by Oleg Petrov in IT Industry Development, Sectoral Applications and eGovernment, Oct 2008.

Participants joined via videoconference in the following cities: Portland, Washington DC, Moscow Colombo, Dakar, Accra, Kigali, Brasilia and Malaga on October 20, 2008.

This executive panel represents an outstanding global, non-technical view of the impact of Open Source Software based on their direct experience. The workshop explored both the business case and real-world applications for open technology to deliver the next generation of government services.

Xavier Heymans, Zea Partners CEO, was invited to present PloneGov an international open source collaborative software ecosystem, where government organizations, non-profits and the private sector work together to share software applications and the cost of enhanced capabilities.

Speakers included:

  • Timothy Ney, Co-founder, Linux Greenhouse (keynote)
  • Samia Melhem, Chair, e-Development TG, World Bank (Co-Chair)
  • Andy Stein, Director IT, City of Newport News (Co-Chair)
  • Carlos Machado, Free Software Implementation Committee (CISL, Brazil)
  • Marcos Vinicius Ferreira Mazoni, SERPRO’s Director-President (Brazil)
  • Yuri Hohlov, Chairman, Institute for Information Society (Russia)
  • Gerhard Pohl, Senior Director, Development Gateway Foundation
  • Shahani Weerawarana, former CTO, ICTA (Sri Lanka)
  • Mel McIntyre, Non-Executive Director, OpenForum Europe 
  • Xavier Heymans, CEO, Zea Partners (Brussels, Belgium) 

The following questions were addressed among others:

  1. What should be the public policy on open source in government, especially in developing countries, if any?
  2. What could be the institutional mechanisms for supporting open source implementation in government? 
  3. What are the best examples of open source applications that are worth sharing and replicating everywhere?
  4. How to develop local skills for open source implementations?
  5. What are the existing and potential mechanisms for sharing open source applications internationally?
  6. What has been impact so far in using open source applications for transforming government? Where are the greatest opportunities and potential impact in the future?

All materials will be available at:   and