26 mei 2017 13:00 – 17:00
Location: Boulevard de l'Empereur 4, Bruxelles, Bruxelles, Belgium
The 21st century democracy in Europe is in dire straits. Citizens feel disconnected with politics, and a growing distrust has in 2014 led to the lowest participation in European elections ever. According to the latest Eurobarometer, a staggering 54% of citizens thinks that their voice doesn't count in the EU. Democracy seems overdue for a profound upgrade. How can we reverse the erosion?
Our digitizing society forms a fertile breeding ground for citizens to get organized in innovative ways, and gain more power to influence and even co-create policy decisions that affect their lives. Digital initiatives like online knowledge centres and participation platforms are popping up all over Europe. What is the potential of these technologies to transform and rethink democracy? What are the threats? And how can local governments anticipate to this growing tendency?
(W)E-Democracy takes a look from different angles at promising (citizen) initiatives who employ digital tools to strengthen democracy. We invite Lina Dencik from Cardiff University to talk about citizen rights in a digitized society. We then discuss two successful online platforms: CitizenLab, introduced to us by founder Wietse Van Ransbeeck and DemocracyOS France, presented by its President Caroline Corbal. Next, Francesca Bria from Barcelona will share her experiences with open democracy on city level. Last but not least, Imade Annouri, Green Member of Flemish Parliament, and Dóra Björt Guðjónsdóttir, Chair of the Young Pirates in Iceland, will reflect on the possibilities of e-democracy for political parties.
Free entrance. Registration required. Click here.
13:00 Introduction (Dirk Holemans)
13:20 Citizen rights in a digital era (Lina Dencik)
14:05 - Digital participation: CitizenLab (Wietse Van Ransbeeck)
- Digital commons: DemocracyOS (Caroline Corbal)
15:20 E-democratic cities (Francesca Bria)
16:05 Digital parties - closing panel (Dóra Björt Guðjónsdóttir and Imade Annouri)
16:45 closing drink
This workshop is an organisation of the Green European Foundation coordinated by Oikos. It will be livestreamed by our partners Fondation Ecologique Politique (Paris), CDN (Belgrade) and Fundacia Strefa Zieleni (Warschau).
Lina Dencik is Senior Lecturer at Cardiff's School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies and serves as Director for the MA Journalism, Media and Communications and the newly established Data Justice Lab. She focuses on the areas of digital surveillance and the politics of data and worked on the ESRC-funded project Digital Citizenship and Surveillance Society.
Wietse Van Ransbeeck is the founder of CitizenLab, a digital platform that connects municipalities with their citizens through an easy accessible interface. CitizenLab empowers citizens to participate in their government's policy-making by sharing their proposals and voting for/against them. Already over 25 cities use CitizenLab to strenghten their local democracy for the digital age
Caroline Corbal is president of the DemocracyOS France association, an Open Source online consultation platform created in Argentina in 2012 and now used by major official institutions and civil society projects in more than 10 different countries. She also co-founded the Open Democracy Now! project to foster synergies between Free and Open Source civic-tech projects.
Francesca Bria iis the EU Coordinator of the D-CENT project on open democracy and social digital currencies and the she is the Principle Investigator of the DSI project on digital social innovation in Europe. In June 2016, Francesca has been appointed Chief Technology and Digital Innovation Officer for the Barcelona City Council.
Dóra Björt Guðjónsdóttir is the Chair of the Young Pirates of Iceland and ran for Parliament in Iceland in 2016. She is educated in international studies and philosophy in Norway and Germany and now works temporarily for Pirate MEP Julia Reda at the European Parliament in Brussels.
Imade Annouri is Green Member of Flemish Parliament and board member of the Young Greens in Belgium. He recently contributed to a resolution for an inclusive and sustainable digital agenda for Flanders in the context of increasing automation and artifical intelligence in society.
Dirk Holemans is coordinator of Oikos, a Belgian think-tank that aims for social-ecological change. Building an ecological economy and inspiring new citizens initiatives (commons) is at the heart of the organisation's activities. He is author of the book 'Freedom & Security' (2016, in Dutch).