The Deliberative Democracy Consortium

Mar 22nd
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Home Workshops Frontiers of Democracy Frontiers of Democracy: Online Democracy

Frontiers of Democracy: Online Democracy

Conference Track 1

Engaging—and being engaged by—the online public: How are online technologies being incorporated into democratic governance and education?

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Citizen engagement is a social good

We believe citizen engagement is a social good.

  • Some people believe civic engagement is political by definition
  • Some people believe the context determines whether or not a given civic engagement activity is political.

(Do you believe this is an important issue for the field to discuss?)

Online learning of engagement skills

We need to explore how online technology can be used to teach the skills essential to citizen engagement, including abilities to:

  • speak my truth
  • listen open-minded and open-hearted
  • assimilate fact-based pros and cons
  • use technology tools
  • lead and organize people

Technology to sustain engagement

We need to explore how online technology options can support sustained citizen engagement.

Tools to match engagement need

Develop and test technological tools that match the specific engagement need.

Environments centered on ordinary people

All kinds of people need environments (both physical and virtual) that are centered on the needs and goals of ordinary people, and that

Internet skills and tools

Ensuring that people have access to the Internet is not enough. In addition:

  • People need the skills and knowledge necessary to use the tools
  • The tools must match the hardware people are using

Online and face-to-face in concert

Online and face-to-face strategies and tools should be used in concert to engage people where they are in order to optimize the benefits of both for communities that work for everyone.

More collaborative laboratories

We need more collaborative laboratories in which people from different sectors (technology/IF, civic organizations, community organizers, public officials, citizens, community members, academics…) work together to experiment and innovate online civic engagement tools. These new collaboratives will result in knowledge building and sharing ideas across fields.

Who is being excluded online?

“Who is being excluded?” is an even more important question when using online technologies.