What is g0v?

An account of my experiences with Taiwan's civic tech community.

Lead-in: Puyuma Express derailment

  • Story: driver was struggling with broken ATC
  • Within 5 hours, disaster information centre was online, including:
    • Blood donation centers and their status
    • Search engine for hospitalized survivors
    • Places to stay near hospitals so families could be with their loved ones recovering
    • Translations of Mandarin-language material into English and Japanese

What parts of g0v culture need explaining?

  • Leaderless decentralized culture
  • Concept of the Nobody

What is g0v?

  • Sunflower Movement
  • NGO participation
  • Ridesharing legislation
  • Amis-Moedict
  • iTaigi
  • National Treasures Project
  • Marriage Equality
  • 1021 Puyuma Incident

    Campaign Finance Data

How do I help?

  • Engineers: Plenty of code to fork
  • Bilingual folks: Lots of translation required!
  • Lawyers: Lots of folks need help understanding US law around Taiwan like the Taiwan Relations Act, Taiwan Travel Act, etc.
  • Citizens: Get involved with public conversations

Questions for g0v Interview

  • How do you think

It’s the tail-end of the first day of the g0v (pronounced gov-zero) summit in Taipei. The summit is this chaotic beauty of civic tech hackers and government workers from Taiwan, Japan to Singapore to the United States bonding over tea in-between speaker series by that are translated from Chinese to English by a team of huddled in a corner of each room.

At the centre of this? A team of volunteers scurrying around the conference floor, leading around speakers, translating in booths and all clad in the same shirt with a g0v logo and emblazoned with a single, confusing word:


I approach the summit information counter and ask one of the white-shirted ‘Nobodies’ in a shaky voice: “Excuse me: How exactly does one join g0v?”

She cocks her head to one-side and replies: “…How do you mean? You’re already in it. This is g0v.”

As I’d discover over the next couple of days, g0v