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NGA launches new program to advise states on emerging tech
Kirill Abbakumov   on Thursday, October 5, 2017 at 12:00:00 am

On September 27, 2017, the National Governors Association (NGA) announced the creation of a new advisory division intended to help state government leaders better understand their roles in relation to a growing host of emerging technologies.

Called NGA Future, the new division is a place where emerging technology and state public policy intersect. The idea is to build a network of experts from the private sector, media and academia who can help governors understand which new technologies — like blockchain and the Internet of Things (IoT) — are worth their time and how they might fit into the future of state government policy.

These could be areas where states could take advantage of certain technological developments to improve how government operates, or areas where technological developments are going to change or have a major impact on state economies and therefore governors need to develop policy and best practices in preparation for that change.

The initial focus areas identified by NGA Future include blockchain, the tradeoffs inherent in increased connectivity, transactional payment technologies, distributed ledgers and their potential for state government, automation’s impact on the future of labor and the use of cognitive computing to improve public policy.

NGA traditionally has served as a convener and adviser for governors on a wide array of issues, including those surrounding technology. The organization has recently taken a facilitating role in helping states like Illinois scale emerging technology initiatives beyond state lines. The state's blockchain for government and Smart State initiatives have garnered interest from other states, and NGA is helping to host gatherings and share information that will allow further development elsewhere.