The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Jane Fountain: The Excitement and Future of Cyberinfrastructure

Jane Fountain, Professor of Political Scienceand Public Policy and Director of the National Center for Digital Government was an invited speaker at North Carolina State University’s “CI Days at NCSU: The Excitement and Future of Cyberinfrastructure,”  which took place September 7 and 8 at NC State.

CI Days explored how “some of the top minds in the world wrestle with how CI can be used to reach technological, organizational and intellectual goals.” Fountain’s presentation, “Cyberinfrastructure and Networked Governance,”  explored the Obama campaign — the first to use social media extensively — and the administration’s Open Government Initiative. Her presentation was part of a panel of experts who discussed how cyberinfrastructure can help institutions reach their organizational potential.

“Understanding cyberinfrastructure,” said Fountain “is important for understanding innovation, progress, and institutional change.” According to Fountain, typically slow-changing bureaucracies are using technology to improve business processes and increase transparency and accountability. Implementing these new technologies, however, does not create an immediate transformation.  In the case of government, “civil servants and organizational cultures play critical roles in allowing organizational change. These and other institutional characteristics of organizations must be fully examined before we can understand the true impact or potential of a new technology.”

News Type: 

  • Faculty News