Welsh Government’s approach to digital is being described through a series of blog posts.
I’m really encouraged by this approach to a new #digitalstrategy for Wales – and for public services in particular.
I like the way that a blog is being used to describe each of the ‘missions’ which underpin the strategy, and I think that there are many positive aspects (and potential outcomes) from the missions.
But….so far, there’s been a notable omission from any of the narrative for me – and that’s any explicit mention of #opensource.
Open source software (yes, and even hardware in some cases), underpins most of the world’s IT infrastructure and systems. It liberates, educates, and is a tool to lower barriers and costs for billions of existing and potential digital users globally.
In the context of Wales’ Future Generations legislation, it’s a slam-dunk for many of the goals, and more so in many cases than closed-source tools.
At the outset of a digital strategy development cycle, we have the incredible opportunity to embed a philosophical and practical commitment to using, supporting, developing and championing open source technologies. With the devolution of education, we also have the opportunity of developing this theme through formal education in schools, colleges and universities; and through informal routes such as Code Clubs.
I’ve previously written about the dangers to democracy from untrammelled use of ‘corporate surveillance’ platforms. The other side of that coin is the growth of the open source social media world – the ‘Fediverse’ – which points to a more responsible, respectful and kinder online world.
It’s not beyond imagination that Wales becomes a standard-bearer for open source solutions, playing a significant role in global contributions to software and hardware. The outcomes for us – and for the world – could be huge. Look what happened when Estonia developed a strong Governmental interest in digital and cybersecurity!
I look forward to seeing future blog posts from Welsh Government, and I hope that open source starts becoming a more visible component of future updates!