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Innovative State: How New Technologies Can Transform Government [Kindle Edition]

Aneesh Chopra

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Book Description

Over the last twenty years, our economy and our society, from how we shop and pay our bills to how we communicate, have been completely revolutionized by technology. As Aneesh Chopra shows in Innovative State, once it became clear how much this would change America, a movement arose around the idea that these same technologies could reshape and improve government. But the idea languished, and while the private sector innovated, our government stalled, trapped in a model designed for the America of the 1930s and 1960s.

The election of Barack Obama offered a new opportunity. In 2009, Aneesh Chopra was named the first Chief Technology Officer of the United States federal government. Previously the Secretary of Technology for Virginia and managing director for a health care think tank, Chopra was tasked with leading the administration’s initiatives for a more open, tech-savvy government.

Inspired by private sector trailblazers, Chopra wrote the playbook for governmental open innovation. In Innovative State he offers an absorbing look at how open government can establish a new paradigm for the internet era and allow us to tackle our most challenging problems, from economic development to affordable health care.

Product Description


Praise for Innovative State "Aneesh Chopra has been the leader of the movement to use technology to revolutionize government in the same way technology has been used to transform other aspects of our lives. With inspiring stories and clear insights, he provides a playbook for open innovations that work both in the public and the private sector." --Walter Isaacson "Aneesh Chopra is an innovator, and an inspiration. Read his book to learn a ton of terrific news about what has been happening in American government, and about what might happen in the future. Prepare to be inspired!" --Cass Sunstein, Robert Walmsley University Professor, Harvard University "Aneesh Chopra's Innovative State is must-reading for anyone interested in tackling America's biggest problems. We've seen how new technologies have dramatically changed the media industry, and Chopra shows how we can use them to remake our government." --Arianna Huffington "For years, Aneesh Chopra has been at the forefront of integrating modern technologies from the private sector into government, to the benefit of all Americans. With Innovative State, he takes us on the journey that led to where we are today and shows us how far we have to go." --Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman, Google "In an industry where market forces don't naturally foster innovation, Chopra has uncovered the playbook for improvement. Regardless of party or politics, Innovative State is a must read for anyone with a passion for fixing the problems facing modern government." --Clayton M. Christensen, Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School, and author of The Innovator's Dilemma "In Innovative State, Aneesh Chopra demonstrates that the same technological innovations revolutionizing industry hold the potential to forever reshape and improve our government. We experienced this dynamic firsthand through LinkedIn's data sharing partnership with the Veterans Job Bank, and agree that a more open and collaborative government can deliver transformational results." --Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn "Aneesh Chopra is the real deal, focused on both inspirational ideas and effective implementation. In Innovative State, he shows how government can serve people better by adopting new approaches to information technology. If you believe in government, or even if you're frustrated by it, read this book--it will give you hope." --Peter Orszag, Former Director of the Office of Management and Budget "The nation's first chief technology officer describes efforts to modernize the federal government...Valuable for policymakers." --Kirkus Reviews "Chopra starts by offering a brief but compelling history of government-enabled technological innovation in the United States... [He] offers great examples of bringing new kinds of talent into government ... [and] provides useful insight about using the toolkit that he describes." --Stanford Social Innovation Review Praise for Aneesh Chopra "As the federal government's first Chief Technology Officer, Aneesh Chopra did groundbreaking work to bring our government into the 21st century. Aneesh found countless ways to engage the American people using technology, from electronic health records for veterans, to expanding access to broadband for rural communities, to modernizing government records. His legacy of leadership and innovation will benefit Americans for years to come." --President Barack Obama

About the Author

Aneesh Chopra was the first chief technology officer of the United States government. Currently, he is the co-founder and executive vice president of Hunch Analytics, a technology firm focused on improving public and regulated sectors through data analytics, and a member of the Council on Virginia's Future. He is a graduate of Johns Hopkins and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 969 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press (6 May 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #651,462 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.1 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A required read for anyone who wants to improve government by leveraging the innovation of startups and individual citizens 26 May 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I was skeptical of this book at first, thinking it might be potentially biased in a politically. However, I was pleasantly surprised that it very often references achievements by a wide range of Presidents and politicians throughout American history towards improving government by opening up data and resources to the private sector, from Thomas Jefferson to today. For example, it provides information about how Thomas Jefferson was a weather fanatic, which eventually led to the creation of the National Weather Service, upon which a huge portion of our modern economy is built, using it for forecasting, planning, etc.

It clearly shows how government can be, and has been in the past, a catalyst of private sector innovation by removing barriers to entry through easy access to data and other resources. It also provides a critique of areas where previous efforts have failed, and how we could learn from those events today. It explains how this is a bi-partisan supported endeavor: to open up government for the benefit of private sector innovation while simultaneously slimming it down, for example, by providing bureaucratic agencies access to nimble startups in the form of prizes through In the same manner, these "prizes" and other creative venues (like RFP-EZ) to circumvent the overly cumbersome, monolithic procurement processes of government (which are doomed to failure and obsolescence most of the time) and allow, for example, a waiter at a Sizzler restaurant to design the next generation of combat support vehicles.

If you work in the government at any level, for any agency, or if you are interested in making our country a better place, or simply think there are better ways to do business beyond the old procurement practices of yesteryear, this should be a required read. It shows how government can be opened up to leverage the collective ingenuity and innovative spirit of every person in the country (or world even), and should be the "playbook" for how agencies are run in the future.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Promoting standards and offering incentives are among the best things government can do 14 Oct. 2014
By Douglas A. Samuelson - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Interesting account of how government can be made to work more effectively and efficiently -- sometimes. Promoting standards and offering incentives are among the best things government can do, and Chopra offers a number of good examples from his own recent tenure as Obama's Chief Technology Officer. On the other hand, his infectious enthusiasm and high energy may have contributed more than he realizes to the successes he recounts -- a couple of the agencies he discussed were already turing sour (VA, in particular) while the book was being printed. Government is too complicated for quick cure-alls. He does give a good quick summary of the most important reasons why reforms don't always work. But Chopra does make a strong case that the right approach, vigorously implemented with top-level backing, can make some parts of it much better, with benefits to us all.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 18 Mar. 2015
By Jeff R. - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Amazing book! Especially if you work in Government and want to be inspired on how to change things.
3.0 out of 5 stars A True Believer in Tech? 19 April 2015
By Gerald McLaughlin - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Aneesh Chopra's brief autobiography, tracing selected forays into automating aspects of government activities. Negatives, notably how costly and quickly dated, and readily manipulated by managers and users most such systems have been and remain, are not addressed. Perhaps sincere, perhaps a true believer and/or an opportunist?
7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book 21 May 2014
By Hetal Shah - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
I just started reading this book, and I find it unbiased and bold. Aneesh Chopra is well-credentialed, knowledgeable about the state of technology in the public and private sectors, and is experienced working close to the White House. This book identifies current and future problems and proposes rational solutions to them. I recommend this book to people who are interested in technology and politics in the United States.
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