The AER Spring 2016 Bureau (22-24 June, Nordland-NO) will focus on the ways technology helps innovation in democracy, highlighting the disruptive nature of technology and the need to renew existing models.
The debate will be lead by key actors from the public and private sectors experienced on topics such as new forms of citizens engagement and participation; big data for policy making; design thinking in the public sector; e-litteracy, etc. A declaration will be presented during the event to:
- acknowledge the awareness of regions on a series of hot topics such as: IT participatory tools, big data for policy making, design-thinking, innovation for by and with the people, co-creation etc
- declare that interregional cooperation is a tool to fast track innovation in the public sector
- recognise there is a need for a deep change in the way governments design their services and the way they collaborate with citizens, which has impacts in terms of time and money savings as well as engagement of citizens and legitimacy for governments
- list a series of recommendations on topics which AER members are or have been working on in the framework of the Committees
We look forward to finding out what measures regions have taken in this field, the challenges they have encountered and good practices set up to improve democracy and citizens’ participation. Are had been active in this field for some time now and has already gathered food for though on digital democracies:
- It’s not about tools it’s a shift in the way territories are managed and developed
- It’s all about design: services need to be designed in a way that respond to needs, but also in a way that enable citizens to contribute repeatedly and in many different ways to the collective good. Design has been discussed both in COM1 and in the context of e- [email protected] and integrated care systems in COM2
- Improving participation is more than organising debates: citizens participation is generally restricted to elections, opinion polls and social media. Even crowdsourcing of expertise has its limits because it doesn’t ask citizens what they would like to contribute to, but asks their expertise when the public sector deems it relevant. New technologies on the contrary potentially enable to map skills and tap into unused talent, both from civil servants who may have competences and skills not revealed in their CV or job description, and from experts outside the administration (a little bit the way LinkedIn functions). This mapping of skills is for instance used by smartphone apps, the idea is to match individuals to what matters to them or, in this case, match people to problems based on what they can do
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