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Yvon Le Roux of Cisco Previews the 2007 Cisco Public Sector Summit at Nobel Week


There is a buzz in the public sector. Government departments worldwide are feeling empowered to apply the lessons learned in the wider Web 2.0 world to the delivery of citizen services.

Far from being bureaucratic and arduous, today’s public sector processes are increasingly designed to be online, on-demand and on target to reduce time, cost and effort for users and government departments alike.

This trend that has been years in the making, and one of the best forums for observing it is the annual Cisco® Public Services Summit, an invite-only event which brings together some of the brightest minds in public sector innovation for a free exchange of ideas.

Now in its sixth year, the Summit is co-hosted by the City of Stockholm and features an enviable cast of plenary speakers. To find out more, News@Cisco caught up with Yvon Le Roux, Vice-President of the Public Sector for Cisco in the European markets.

What exactly is the Public Services Summit and what makes it different from other public sector events?

Yvon Le Roux: The Public Services Summit is a unique networking event for high-level decision-makers committed to technology-enabled transformation in the public sector.

It brings together senior policy advisors and decision makers in central, regional and local government, defense, education and healthcare from across the globe.

The Summit is organized to coincide with the Nobel Week celebration in Stockholm, Sweden and culminates at the Nobel Peace Prize celebration dinner and concert in Oslo, Norway.

It is a four-day event, which began the evening of 8 December with a welcome reception, followed by two days of thought-provoking speakers and breakout sessions.

The event concludes with a private train transporting us to Oslo to attend the Nobel Peace Prize Concert on Tuesday evening, 11 December.

Is there a theme to this year’s event?

Yvon Le Roux: The 2007 event theme is on the Power of the Human Network, which aims to recognize the idealism that underlies the commitment to transformation in the public sector and celebrates the innovation and empowerment that transformation can involve.

The Summit enables delegates to share their views and best practices about the future of the Internet in the public sector and will explore the vision of our guest speakers.

Who are the plenary speakers this year?

Yvon Le Roux: We have a fantastic lineup of plenary speakers this year, including:

* David Weinberger, a U.S. technologist and writer who is probably best known as the co-author of the Cluetrain Manifesto, a Website and book about the transformational impact of the Internet on business.
* Jan Figel, the European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Youth, who was born in Vranov nad Topl’ou in Slovakia and was a research scientist before entering politics, playing a leading role in Slovakia’s accession negotiations with the European Union.
* Riccardo Illy, President of the Italian region of Fruili-Venezi-Guilia and President of the Assembly of European Regions, who is also Vice President of his family’s world-famous coffee-making firm and was twice elected Mayor of Trieste, the town of his birth.
* Dr Georg Thiel, deputy head of directorate, Federal Ministry of the Interior of the Federal Republic of Germany, who has been heavily involved in the introduction of a German single number for non-emergency public administration queries.
* Kristina Alvendal, Vice Mayor of Stockholm, responsible for housing and integration, member of the Stockholm City Council for the Moderate Party and President of two of Stockholm’s fully-owned housing companies.
* Ian Watmore, the Permanent Secretary for the U.K. Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills and former head of the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit, the Government’s Chief Information Officer, and the first head of the Government Information Technology profession.
* Rajeeva Ratna Shah, Member Secretary of India’s Planning Commission, who is a senior officer of the Indian Administrative Services and has held many positions over his long and distinguished career, including Principal Home Secretary and Secretary to Chief Minister.
* Preston Jay Waite, deputy director and chief operating officer of the U.S. Census Bureau, who in 2010 will oversee the decennial census, the United States’ largest peacetime mobilization with more than 500,000 temporary workers and a USD$11 billion-plus budget.

What are the main issues of interest at the event?

Yvon Le Roux: There are a number of critical public sector issues that stay on the table year after year: how government departments can become more effective, for example, or how they can break down silos and create greater citizen satisfaction.

In addition, though, many discussions are revolving around the new networked communities that are arising as a result of Web 2.0 and other areas of technology innovation.

The public sector is already looking at how to incorporate thinking on these ’people networks’ into new types of service delivery and this is an important area of dialogue at the Summit.


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