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Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Monday 15 September 2014

#OGT14 It Doesn't End Here

Every journey must have an ending.

And so tomorrow, #OGT14 - one man's quest to shared #OpenGov while discovering Canada - comes to a close.  

Richard Pietro has criss-crossed the nation, doing a bowtie loop from Toronto to the East Coast, out to the West Coast and is now in Ottawa, preparing for tomorrow's grand finale.

Along the way he has seen our country in a way few Canadians ever get to.  

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Richard has experienced the vast solitude of the countryside.  He has touched on the lives of individual Canadians where they work, where they live, and where they dream of a better future.  

Richard has climbed to great heights and delved into great depths in his discovery of Canada.  He's done fun things like ride a zipline and make the earth move; he's had solemn moments of reflection, as when he paused at the Terry Fox memorial.  

It's been a very bearable adventure to follow.

Throughout his journey, Richard has grown in his understanding of Canada and his commitment to Open Government.

Seriously - when you see how amazing our country and it's people are, how could you not want them to come together and build that better world, ensemble?

I can't begin to imagine the thoughts crossing his mind as he prepares himself for his last presentation of the tour.  From nearly being kicked off the lawn at Queen's Park to being welcomed with open arms at Ottawa City Hall, Richard has had one hell of a ride.

It all ends tomorrow.  

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This is it, folks; the #OGT14 curtain comes down tomorrow.  It's the ending of the Summer of Open.  For many of us, especially Richard, there will be a great big hole in our lives come Wednesday morning.

But the adventure doesn't end here.  Hopefully, it's just beginning.

While Richard has opened the eyes of many to the world of Open Government, there are countless people who've been working hard at cracking our governments open before the tour started; they'll still be there when it's over.

Through Richard I have met, both in person and online, some amazing, dedicated, creative public servants that are truly putting the service part first.

These are folk like Keith McDonald, Jose Iguiniz, Tehani Mott, Hizeena Abdulla, Melissa Tullio, Jacques Mailloux, Kent Aitken, Aubrie Mcgibbon and countless others.

Embedded image permalinkThey wake up every day with a mission - that mission is the same one that set Richard out on the Open Road.  It's the mission that gets people like me out of bed in the morning, too.

What all we Virtuous Schemers want is simple - to help government be all that it can be.  Government, whether we believe so or not, is an organ of society; it beats only so strong as the engagement of the people allows it to.

Right now, government's pulse is weak.  The strength of our democracy is faltering not simply because government has become more opaque, but because citizens have tuned out.  

There's no point casting blame one way or another, demanding someone else fix the problem.  

Divided we fall.

Of course, when we unite, we can not only stand tall, but we can reach further.

You can't have Open Government without an engaged, Responsible Society.  There's little point in government opening the door if we, the people, aren't ready to walk through.

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Posts like this are supposed to end with a call to action, a bridge between words and deeds.  

Well, Canada, here's your call to action: what will you do to help open government?

We won't get there by staying at home and complaining about the actions of others that we don't like.

The only way society works is for each of us to step out our front doors and engage.

Richard Pietro has inspired us all to disrupt our lives a bit and discover each other, and Canada, with an open mind.

#OGT14 ends tomorrow, but beyond, the road lies open.

Please join Richard for one last adventure - but then, look yourself to the open road beyond.

I hope to see you out there.  Who knows what we can discover and build together?

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