"In 2011, Alon Peled, a political scientist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, concluded in a paper that a top-down order by President Barack Obama to open up federal information caches to the public had generally failed to gain traction at least partly because “datasets are valuable assets which agencies labor hard to create, and use as bargaining chips in interagency trade, and are therefore reluctant to surrender these prized information assets for free.” When the FBI wanted to …
Wicked problems are persistent, pervasive or slippery that they appear as insoluble. They tend to morph and shift disconcertingly when we attempt to solve them. These problems require an extraordinary degree of cooperation and information sharing among states among institutions and sectors inside the state. For example, climate change, cybersecurity, and drug trafficking are often portrayed as wicked problems. The presentation surveyed some of these problems as well as the enormous cost of failing to share information among states and within the state to confront these wicked problems.
Alon Peled is the man behind the Public Sector Information Exchange, a new digital tool which will allow citizens to access state agency data and compare it across different countries and continents. Last year, Sean Kippin spoke to Alon about both this project specifically and the potential for big data more generally.
Government deals daily with massive volumes of data, and yet poor public-sector information sharing remains a critical government challenge that wastes public funds and put lives at risk. Peled’s book Traversing Digital Babel proposes an innovative solution to improve information sharing inside government by using selective incentives to nudge government officials to exchange data in an automated Public Sector Information Exchange (PSIE).
Eighteen teams encompassing developers from the USA, Peru, Italy, Macedonia, Serbia, Egypt, Brazil and India competed to address Alon Peled's "Data Treasure Hunt." The challenge is based on ideas from Alon Peled's Traversing Digital Babel book (The MIT Press 2014) and Peled's Google Faculty Research Award project (eg The Public Sector Information Exchange - PSIE).
On January 28, 2015, the Hebrew University's Library held a special event to honor the publication of "Traversing Digital Babel." Professor Karine Nahon (IDC and the University of Washington), Dr. Jennifer Shkabatur (IDC & World Bank) and Ms. Shevy Korzen (CEO of Israel's Public Knowledge Workshop) delivered presentations based on their work. Alon Peled delivered concluding remarks. Professor David Levi-Faur, Chairperson of the Federman School of Public Policy of the Hebrew University monitored the event.
Co-presented with Professor Jaakko Hollmen of Aalto University, Alon Peled presented the Public Sector Information Exchange (PSIE) at Google's Headquarters, Mountain View, California. The presentation included one cool slide titled "Where in the World is my Garbage?" Alon Peled demonstrated how the existing PSIE corpus (built with the support of a Google Faculty Research Award 2013) can help entrepreneurs in the waste management domain track the 'voyages' of their garbage on a world map.