Over the past ten years, our modern democracies have undergone a radical change. We have seen technology transform things for better, and for the worse. Trust in our institutions has eroded, old powers have crumbled and new powers have emerged.
What will the next ten years have in store for us? From where we stand, the possibilities seem endless. The Internet and new technologies are offering opportunities to redistribute power. Top-down models of governance are no longer being seen as legitimate or efficient, and citizens now expect decision-making to be shared, open and participatory. To shed light on what the future holds, the Brussels-based digital participation platform CitizenLab asked 12 digital democracy experts to share their predictions.
Three main ideas emerged from these conversations. First, people matter more than technology. Second, the future of citizen participation relies on deliberation. Third, transparency is key.
The experts are:
- Daniel Korski (UK), CEO and co-founder of PUBLIC, a venture capital fund that aims to solve public problems that helps the most innovative technology start-ups do business with the public sector, and Chair of the GovTech summit
- Paula Forteza (France), Member of Parliament, representing the 2nd constituency of French residents overseas
- Tiago C. Peixoto, Senior Public Sector Specialist at the World Bank’s Governance Global practice and co-author of a recent World Bank report on theÂ role of emerging digital technology in citizen engagement
- Marci Harris (USA), co-founder and CEO of PopVox, a platform that helps citizen communicate withÂ their governments, and a former member of a U.S. congressional team
- David Lemayian (Kenya), Chief Technology Officer of Code For Africa, the continent’s Civic Technology, open data and data journalism initiative
- Adriana Groh (Germany), director of theÂ Prototype Fund, a Berlin-based organisation which funds innovative, citizen-led projects which benefit the public interest
- Boudewijn Steur (Netherlands), programme manager Strengthening Democracy and Governance at the Dutch Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations
- Dirk Verstichele (Belgium), CEO of Cipal Schaubroeck, a Belgian company offering HR and IT services specifically for the public sector
- Stephen Boucher (Belgium), founder of the think-and-do tank Dreamocracy, a think-and-do tank and consulting agency
- Elisa Lironi, senior manager European Democracy at the European Citizen Action Service (ECAS)
- Quentin Jardon (Belgium), co-founder of Wilfried, a magazine that coversÂ Belgian politics
- Vincent Van Quickenborne (Belgium), mayor of the Flemish city of Kortrijk
Interviews with all experts can be found in this white paper.