Updated: Oct 7, 2019
As an advisor to the Brussels government on ICT and Smart city, I realised that administrative silo-based structures were really hampering - to respond to societal and citizen demands of the 21 st century - employees to fully participate and shape the future It also created a financial non-sense in building out smart city infrastructure. More than the technological possibilities, the real change would be to create an agile and responsive public service as a prerequisite. To break these silos, I used the the design thinking methodology framework
From Tocqueville to TOKVIL
2 centuries ago, Alexis de Tocqueville came out with its two books "la démocratie en Amérique" . In this book he writes about the early democracies from the first pilgrims arriving in Boston, and the way that the have decided to organise themselves in their community (judgements, police force, executive power). He is a clear observer and details the way these early settlers have organised themselves. Not much theory, just practical stuff. it appears for example that no permanent administration is created in these times.
The lessons we can learn from philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville and its approach are again so relevant in this beginning of the 21st century:
- Digital transformation and societal transitions impose a new and fresh look on new ways of organising society and administering it; the existing structures are outdated, and the new ones are not yet there completely;
- However some small test and innovative approaches might be the way 21st century societal co-existence will work. Who knows. The first step in design thinking is to observe, just like dit Tocqueville: how is civil society moving forward, what kind of new co-government structures appear,... …
- Similarities in approach between Tocqueville and TOKVIL : observe of what is being done: learn instead of theoretical ideas
So TOKVIL paraphrases Tocqueville, jsut as the cultural centre BOZAR does for Beaux-Art.
History in de making....