Advancing Virtual Organizing: Potentials and Realities from Scientific Grid to Citizen-Service Communities – June 20, 2007

The purpose of the workshop is to envision greater possibilities for distributed citizen service communities, in light of grid-based, research and design communities. How can emerging public service communities learn "build to share" principles from distributed research communities already benefiting from cyberinfrastructures they have built? What are the implications for accelerating Service Oriented Architecture in public service communities?

By discovering how different fields of business, science and healthcare are using grid computing, participants will share in lessons learned and best practices to provide a common foundation for establishing next steps in planning projects that leverage all the advances associated with grid communities.

"…Grids are the integrated platforms for all network-distributed applications or services whether they are computationally or transactionally intensive." Paul Strong, Grid Today, Sept.11, 2006

In addition, the workshop includes a focus on the U.S. HealthGrid. Current priorities as seen through the National Institutes of Health Roadmap for example call for advancing collaboration in biomedical research and using biomedical data and information to improve the quality and outcomes of health care delivery.

The President’s goal to make an electronic health record available for most Americans by 2014 and the development of the Nationwide Health Information Network under the leadership of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, present a timely opportunity to share and collaborate advanced HealthGrid projects, systems, data and knowledge. Through collaboration, open solutions and innovation, the grid community can contribute to advancing quality, electronic health records, population and bio-surveillance and personal health records to achieve higher levels of performance and interoperability.

Government taps the power of us: Officials turn to blogs and wikis to share information and achieve goals

May 21, 2007 by Richard W. Walker,

First, he joined the blogosphere, creating a Web site that encouraged constituents to comment on issues, no matter which side they were on. And then last year, he started an issues-based wiki, a Web site where everyone can read, edit and post views. The site,, became a virtual town hall for a discussion about vouchers.

Earlier this year, the Utah House and Senate approved the measure on vouchers, and the governor signed the bill into law.

“Politicopia helped move the debate on vouchers,” Urquhart said in a speech at the recent Government CIO Summit, sponsored by 1105 Government Information Group. The summit’s theme was “Government by Wiki: New Tools for Collaboration, Information-Sharing and Decisionmaking.”

For example, at the General Services Administration, the Office of Citizen Services and Communications’ Intergovernmental Solutions Division has created an open, collaborative work environment. It includes a wiki to enhance interaction among its stakeholders at various levels of government. The collaborative site doesn’t eliminate stovepipes and silos in government, but it helps turn them into wind chimes that talk to one another across agencies, said Susan Turnbull, the office’s senior program adviser.

“Our mission is to improve the communications, trust and information sharing at all levels of government,” Turnbull said. But “we’re not in a position to change the dynamics, borders and missions at any of these agencies.”

Instead, she said, “a large part of [our activity] has to do with spending constructive time with one another in a way that we can understand each other.” Indeed, she added, one of the office’s performance metrics is the quality of the discussion.