But that ability to see a system is flawed and to be in a position to build a new system, that comes with access. So you have to have open access to information. Take something like WikiLeaks, and its role in society. Now that you are in government, do you look at WikiLeaks from a different point of view than you did before?
WikiLeaks is a media organization company. This is indisputable. It is just run in a very peculiar way. My role in the cabinet is not in “new media” – the administration has its own “new media” team. What we are in is the public digital innovation space.
Our mandate, is just said as you said, open access. It is making public as early as possible anything that the administration is willing to have a dialogue on with the civil society and the private sector. We use digital tools to enable that, to save humans from having to do repetitive work. If we see a system bottleneck, we work with that person – often a public servant – to see whether we can assist them with alternative tools.
The way we do this is through a standard innovation cycle. We start with design methods, like brainstorming, business origami. We do a full service experience design flow, and maybe user surveys and user profiling. We work with people from different ministries to explain to us how exactly each ministry works and what challenges they are facing in terms of their information flow. Because this is a “space” – it is not an office – it is defined by the people who join, so we use a lot of open space technology. By making our process open and by sharing where our experiments succeed and fail, we are able to not only work with people in Taiwan, but with people with a similar mandate in the U.K., France and the United States who are doing very similar work to us.
I am conservative, I am not progressive. Conservatism means we have a human tradition, and we respect this tradition, and the tradition should not be radically changed without being comfortable with it. A conservative anarchist is almost an oxymoron, but it is not. Being an anarchist is really about believing that people out of their volition can collaborate. Being a conservative means: Only when people are ready.