Since June 2010, G-20 policy makers from around the world have been collaborating via secure social networking software before and during the summits. In this secure networking application, world leaders like Obama and Sarkozy are able to discuss important issues, said Tom Jenkins, Executive Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer, Open Text.
Although unable to show the live site due to security reasons (even Open Text, the creators of the application, has no access to the site), Jenkins showed FutureGov Asia Pacific some of the public sites.
This application, accessible through BlackBerrys, iPhones and iPads, is designed very much like Facebook—each user has a profile, can post status updates, share photos and videos, and hold discussions with other users. The application is even equipped with a wiki function, where information on each country is archived and users can edit the information as needed.
This application can be accessed through the web at any time and from anywhere in the world, said Jenkins.
“The users are very busy people, so even at the summits, they might not be able to attend all meetings are discuss all issues. The application helps them keep in touch and plan key talking points during the weeks leading up to the summits.”
Yet, “anything digital is a legal document”, said Jenkins, and given that governments are always touchy on data sovereignty issues. Who hosts this information; on which country’s soil will it be kept?
“The host country is in charge of the information. At each meeting, the G-20 host country will be in charge of the information security, its lifespan and its archival. This was the agreement reached by G-20,” explained Jenkins. “So for the latest meeting which was in Korea last November, Korea took charge of the information. And at the next meeting, the responsibilities will change hands, falling into those of the host country.”
This sharing and collaboration tool for the G-20 summit can be found at www.g20net.org
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