A little over 20 years ago, companies started to move from on-premise software — where a company owned and managed all the infrastructure — to cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) — where a company subscribed to access different components of the technology infrastructure that were largely owned and managed by a service provider that had domain expertise. This was an important shift for several reasons. It allowed companies to:
Looking at the current state of our union, there is a glaring need for our government to become a technology organization. Many of our current problems are originating with each state piecing together similar technology stacks and re-building the same functional components over and over, albeit with inconsistent protocols, standards, and vendors. These issues are similar to those that foreshadowed a new wave of SaaS products. If we can create consistency and continuity to get cities, states, and nations operating in unison as a well-oiled machine, we can start to improve the quality of our services and the overall citizen experience. We need to get government up to speed with all these highly automated companies that are operating within the nation and enter the digital age to better serve and protect our citizens. We need to be at the forefront of policies, not lagging decades behind, leaving companies to create their own policies that favor their shareholders over our shareholders — the citizens.
We also need to consider what is happening with the base stock of our parent organization — the dollar. Just take a quick look at the stock market and you will see that the value of these companies continues to rise against the value of the dollar. This is not necessarily a good thing that every asset is rising against the dollar, even though our leaders point to it as success. There is serious misalignment with the valuation of these companies, and the value they are providing to our community. When they do well, the value of our community should increase, but that is not what is happening. San Francisco is an interesting example. We need to re-align incentives around the needs of citizens, while linking the success of companies to the success of the surrounding community.
There are some big concerns when thinking about this technological transformation of our government, and we can discuss these in more detail in future articles. The four main concerns are:
Understanding these concerns, I propose Government as a Service (GaaS), which is a collection of open-source, blockchain-enabled capabilities that collectively allow communities to automate judicial, legislative, and executive workflows and manage, among other things:
GaaS provides a transparent, scalable, and decentralized technology stack that any democratic community or network can freely migrate to from legacy systems as part of their technology transformation, while customizing components to meet local needs and still maintaining continuity throughout a universal system of government. An ability to freely migrate means that there are no barriers to using the public operating network (no up-front-fees or subscriptions), but rather a small, value-add tax (VAT) to generate a sustainable operating revenue.
Colleges and companies, particularly social networks, can migrate to activate a governing workflows and a tax-based business model, while leveraging local currencies, unique asset tokens, “social services,” and polling to engage with citizens. My belief is that this can provide online communities with the foundational components of thriving, healthy communities, while re-aligning incentives and creating a universal income for citizens. We are dealing with humans, not unknowing test subjects or manipulated slaves to consumerism and corporate profits. We need to treat them as such and be responsible for their growth and mental health without swindling them and extracting all of their value in the name of shareholder profits. Transaction-based models help citizens visualize that value extraction through community tax rates.
This technology ecosystem will be managed through a non-profit (similar to the way Linux Foundation accelerates an ecosystem around Linux), which is a citizen-governed foundation. In future articles we will discuss how this decentralized foundation will work. By managing this through a non-profit, we can work together towards a common vision as the future-focused organization for government technologies and systems. This allows the current government to:
Over the next couple months, I will do deeper dives into topics mentioned in this article, while presenting frameworks and overviews of GaaS competencies and capabilities that make up the citizen engagement system. The first one covered will be our flagship competency and product, Citizen Relationship Management (CRM).
My hope is that I can provide insight into the purpose (why are we doing this), lead us through the mission (how we are going to do it), and then present knowhow and development plans so we can collectively build — in public, as one nation– the future of democracy (what we are creating). Subscribe to join the journey and receive email updates as we build a DAN: Decentralized Autonomous Nation.