Coming to the UK: global pioneers of digital democracy
Can digital tools transform local and national democracy? What can we learn from existing pioneers in this field, and what challenges lie ahead?
All around the world technology is playing an increasingly important role in how government and parliament conduct their work. Online participatory budgeting exercises are informing and empowering people to campaign for local issues that matter to them; digital crowdsourcing is broadening the pool of experts that contribute to draft legislation; and tools for transparency and monitoring are improving the scrutiny of government by the public.
On December 5th, Nesta will hold two speaker sessions to explore how local governments and parliament can make the most of these methods. Joined by leading pioneers in digital democracy from across the globe, these events present an opportunity to consider how new tools can help local authorities and national parliaments better engage with people, and to discuss some of the opportunities and challenges ahead for ‘digital democracy’ in the UK.
Joining Nesta’s CEO, Geoff Mulgan, in a discussion about Nesta’s recent work in this area, specifically the D-CENT tools and upcoming research, will be the following speakers:
Audrey Tang is Digital Minister for Taiwan, and previously an active member of the volunteer movement of civic hackers: g0v (“gov-zero”). Audrey has experience implementing an extensive range of tools for digital engagement at the local and national level, from interactive parliamentary live-streams to large-scale digital deliberation exercises.
Cristiano Ferri Faria is the Director of the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies' very own “Hacker Lab”, which invites members of the tech community to collaborate in improving parliament's use of legislative open data. He is also co-founder of the Chamber's interactive e-Democracia portal.
Gunnar Grimsson is co-founder and CEO of the Citizens Foundation in Iceland. Since 2008, the independent charity has been working with local governments across the country to implement software and broader methods for digital crowdsourcing of ideas and participatory budgeting.
Nicolas Patte is the Head of Communications for Cap Collectif, a civic tech community and software company based in France. Cap Collectif has been working with local organisations, national government and individual representatives to run high-quality digital consultations and debates involving the wider public.
If you are interested in finding out more about how digital methods and tools can be applied practically to local and national policymaking, please register below to join us on Monday 5 December. Note, in the occurance of over-registration places will be reserved for those working in local or national government and parliament.
These events draw on Nesta's current programme of research exploring how local authorities, national parliaments and political parties can use digital tools to improve the quality and legitimacy of decision-making, in collaboration with the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Opening Governance.
1. How can digital tools enable councils to interact with communities and better involve people in local policymaking?
Date: Monday 5 December 2016, 12-2.30pm. Lunch will be provided from 12pm.
Venue: Broadway House Conference Centre, Tothill Street, London, SW1H 9NQ
Travel: A small number of travel bursaries are available for those travelling from outside the M25. For more information, please email [email protected]
To register your interest, click here.
2. Can the UK Parliament, particularly in the context of restoration and renewal, use digital tools to improve democratic involvement of citizens in the legislative process?
Date: Monday 5 December 2016, 4-6pm
Venue: The Jubilee Room, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
To register your interest, click here.
If you are unable to join us in London, we are looking to run these events again in Scotland in February 2017. If you would like to be informed when the details are confirmed, please follow this link to register your interest.
Image: Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)