EDem10 – eDemocracy Conference 2010: announcement, CFP and speech

eDem2010, the 4th International Conference on eDemocracy 2010 is taking place on May 6th and 7th, 2010, in Krems, Austria.

I want to warmly thank Noella Edelmann for inviting me to give a keynote speech in this event. For many reasons.

The first one is that the other keynote speakers are people that I am really willing to listen to, and that very rarely get together in this side of the pond (kudos for the organization!):

  • Stevan Harnad, American Scientist Open Access Forum; Universite du Quebec a Montreal, CAN; University of Southampton, UK
  • Jochen Scholl, The Information School, University of Washington, USA
  • Micah L. Sifry, Personal Democracy Forum, TechPresident, New York, USA
  • Andy Williamson, Hansard Society, London, UK

A second reason is that I am an enthusiast about the possibilities of the digital revolution to also revolutionize the concept of citizenship and politics. But I’ve become increasingly upset about the barriers to overcome. Amongst others:

  • ¿what has changed — and what has not — because of the digital revolution?
  • The digital divide because of physical access
  • The digital divide because of skills access and the new digital competences
  • The raise of the Goverati: ¿digital democrats or digital aristocrats?
  • The concentration of media, of digital media, the echo chambers and the daily me, etc.
  • Cons, but also pros of representative democracy
  • Pros, but also costs of deliberative democracy and direct democracy

I already dealt with some of these issues in my seminar Goverati: New competencies for politics, government and participation, but I have been increasingly concerned about that after having been working on a chapter proposal about the case of Spain for a Politics 2.0 book within the Information Technology and Law Series series, edited by Wim Voermans, Simone van der Hof & Marga M. Groothuis (the chapter is provisionally entitled Striving behind the shadow: the dawn of Spanish Politics 2.0 and you can see here the bibliography). So, having the chance to share my thoughts about this to a knowledgeable audience is quite a gift.

Call for Papers

By the way, the call for papers for eDem2010, the 4th International Conference on eDemocracy 2010 is open, the deadline being March, 1st. I copy-and-paste from the official website the subjects of the conference:

The EDem10 focuses on these changes which can be seen occurring in different areas and which are manifest in different way:

  • Transparency & Communication (freedom of information, free information access, openness, information sharing, blogging, micro-blogging, social networks, data visualization, eLearning, empowering, …);
  • Participation & Collaboration (innovation malls, innovation communities, bottom up, top down, social networks, engagement and accountability, collaborative culture, collaboration between C2C, G2C, …);
  • Architecture, Concepts & Effects (access and openness, user generated content, peer production, network effects, power laws, long tail, harnessing the power of the crowd, crowd sourcing, social web, semantic web, …);
  • Different Fields: open government initiatives, eDemocracy, eParticipation, eVoting, eDeliberation;
  • Approaches and Disciplines: law & legal studies, social sciences, computer sciences, political sciences, psychology, sociology, applied computer gaming and simulation, democratic theory, media and communication sciences;
  • Multidisciplinary and Interdisciplinary Approaches;
  • Research Methods.