Where are the SpaceX-style innovators in governance?
I had thought that I would maintain some sort of academic detachment with AtlantisUnderground, documenting best practices and identifying thought leaders in government innovation. Now that approach seems unfruitful given the urgent need for massive, practical innovation in governance and legal systems for the billions of people in a rapidly urbanizing world where even the most fundamental obligation of government – to keep people safe – is an open joke. Plus it’s boring!
Instead, we need a series of SpaceX-style players to catalyze innovation in engineering governance delivery systems. What SpaceX has done for the aerospace industry (once the exclusive domain of a few major governments and terminally sclerotic) must be done for the delivery of good governance. If we think fundamentally of governance in functional terms, then we can sidestep the debate-swamp of which form of government is best. It will help to think of governance as a service (or GaaS, to tweak a term borrowed from the software realm). If we embrace a results-driven and data-driven pursuit of clearly (and inspirationally) defined governance functions, then the form of governance will follow the functional target. This frees us to be sufficiently flexible on the front end in exploring how to solve the opportunities of existing dysfunction presented by legacy governance systems.