• On the record, we will be making a transcript and email of you about what everybody has said, but we will not publish it right away. We’ll publish it only after 10 days of co editing. If you want more time as to embargo this transcript so that we publish after you do, it’s also OK. It can be arranged.

  • After all of you publish, we can then publish the transcript if you have concerns about that. If that’s OK with you, we’ll be on the record.

  • OK. Welcome to Taiwan! Is it your first or second day?

  • The second day. I hope the jet lag isn’t too bad?

  • (laughter)

  • Thank you very much for inviting us and for your generosity. We are very happy to meet you. Thank you very much.

  • Thank you. We have an hour and a half. This is a free form discussion. I will begin with maybe five minutes of self introduction and my position within the Taiwanese government.

  • Then the floor will be yours, and I will answer whatever your question is. It may or may not have anything to do with digital. [laughs] I understand that you have a wide range of concerns and questions, and it’s all OK. If I don’t know, I’ll just say I don’t know, if that’s OK with you.

  • My position is called the digital minister. It’s a new position as of this cabinet. I’m somewhat unique in that I work with the government, not for the government. If you take a look at my name card, it doesn’t say that I represent anything. I present some work from Taiwan, but I don’t represent anyone but myself.

  • My work is at a Lagrange point, a midpoint between the movements on one side and the government on the other side, meaning that I spend my time, most of the time, not in this office, but actually in that office. That’s my real office, [laughs] near the Jianguo Flower Market, near Central Park Taipei, the Daan Park.

  • This place is open for everybody, it opens from 7:00 AM to 11:00 PM. Every Wednesday, everybody can book 40 minutes of my time and just walk in, have a chat, enjoy food, and meet me. All the meetings that I have with anybody in the Social Innovation Lab is subject to my working condition, which is called radical transparency.

  • Radical transparency means that everybody can see. After becoming the digital minister, I have spoken to more than 4,000 people in more than 200,000 speeches, in almost a thousand or so meetings. This applies even to internal meetings that I’m a chair of.

  • In this sense, everybody from the public sector can see what the social sector and the private sector is up to. Everybody in the private and social sector can see what the government is up to when it comes to the Sustainable Development Goals.

  • The Sustainable Development Goals, as you probably know, is a set of 169 targets, as determined by the 70s UN meeting, that every jurisdiction must reach by the year 2030. In each and every conversation, for example Facebook Civic Integrity visits on August 3rd, this is not just a summary.

  • Rather, this is a completely transparent recording. Each and every one has its own URL so it could be quoted, it could be cited, it could become a social object. That determines then what people in Taiwan have contributed or is contributing to each and every Sustainable Goals in each and every county or cities.

  • If you click, for example, the Pingtung County, you can see which SDGs are most focused on that county. Indeed, Taoyuan and Taipei City are making their voluntary regional reviews, like New York City does, to tally whatever social enterprises, co ops, charities, foundations, or with profit companies in that county are working toward, as well as in these SDGs, what their natural partners are internationally and domestically.

  • This is a new governance system. Instead of making the government the arbiter between the economic and environmental forces or the innovation and social justice forces, instead of saying that we are the organizer and we’re the arbiters, we see ourselves as providing a space where people of different positions can discover each other, through radical transparency, their common values.

  • Based on those common values, deliver innovations that are social innovations, meaning everybody can participate, such as those self driving tricycles that solve a real social issue. Everybody can contribute to make a social good.

  • For example, they can tinker openly the hardware, the software, and the data of those self driving vehicles, so it doesn’t feel like a capture from the law or from the public sector to the norms. We instead do a norm first design, where people just live with those self driving tricycles for a year or so for the market to understand what people truly want.

  • That turns into algorithm, into code, and finally, legalized into law. A norm first, instead of a law first design, is what Taiwan is paving the way forward in what the UN now calls the collaborative governance, or Co Gov.

  • That is the new governance model that we are pioneering toward. We have a lot of examples, depending on your interest. I promised I will spend five minutes, and we are at five minutes. Any questions? Yes.

  • First, do you have a WiFi here?