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Tim’s Takeaways: ACT-IAC Imagine Nation ELC


Tim Rund

Date Published

Nov 17, 2023
4 minute read
ACT-IAC Executive Leadership Conference

ACT-IAC’s Imagine Nation ELC brought the government technology community together to discuss critical tech issues facing the government and how leaders can work together to develop practical solutions. Tim Rund joined the event and discussions on behalf of The Clearing. Below are his takeaways from the conference.

Executive Order on AI.

The announcement on the first day by Federal CIO Clare Martorana of the new Executive Order, Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Development and Use of Artificial Intelligence, was one of the highlights of the conference. We also heard from Morgan Zimmerman, AI Policy Analyst from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), who was part of the team that helped to develop the new Executive Order. There is a lot of energy being focused on how to move forward and quickly to begin leveraging this new AI guidance. However, as we’ve written here recently, AI adoption still presents significant challenges for federal leaders and agencies of all types.

Understanding Our Relationship with Knowledge.

Alexis Bonnell, Chief Innovation Officer and Director of the Digital Capabilities Directorate at the Air Force Research Laboratory, spoke on the importance of data permeability as a key dynamic in evolving thinking about our relationship with knowledge. She asked for industry to help deliver a relationship with data, not just a singular technology, platform, or tool. Bonnell highlighted the need for greater interoperability to ensure it is easier – not harder – to share and access data across systems and platforms. She noted that our relationship with controlled, structured data is rapidly changing to include more focus on how to tap into the vast amount of unstructured data, noting knowledge derived from unstructured data may be critical to answering future challenges.

Supercharging Technology Transformation.

Sonny Hashmi, GSA Commissioner of the Federal Acquisition Service (FAS), stated there now exists a perfect alignment of policy, access to capital through the Technology Modernization Fund (TMF), and new capabilities such as shared services that agency leaders can use to “supercharge” their technology transformation initiatives. One of those initiatives is AI adoption, where he believes access to talent will be critical in implementing the new strategicdeliverable. Hashmi believes this will require acquiring new talent from outside the government, while stressing the need to find ways to leverage talent that is already inside the government. Following up on his comments regarding alignment, he reiterated the point made by Clare Martorana that “the moment is now” with everything in place from a policy lens, OMB memos, and from legislation to deliver better digital services to federal constituents.

If you’d like to hear more about the event or want to discuss how evolving technology can be harnessed at your organization, we would love to chat. Reach out anytime – we’ll be ready.