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Weekly eParticipation News digest “October 17th – 24th 2009″

23. October 2009 – 15:01 by Maren Luebcke

Interesting news from England and Wales:  A new bill will be set to be passed into law. By this law councils in England and Wales will be obliged to implement facilities for electronic petitions. Read more on the E-Goverment Bulletin

Call for Papers for the 10th European Conference on e-Government ECEG 2010 in Limerick (17-18 June 2010) is now open. Submissions should address applications for e-Government, challenges to e-Government, e-Voting and e-democracy issues as well as the issue of European citizenship. The conference welcomes academic papers, case studies, work in progress as well as non-academic contributions.  Further information …

A detailed report on the last weeks eDemocracy summit – this year BerlinInOctober – is given by Simon Columbus. The un-conference brought together 50 participants from 19 different countries. The updated conference wiki will be available soon.

The winner of the e-Democracy Award 2009 is announced. Congratulations to EU Profiler. Amazing 2,5 millions citizens have used the tool during last European elections to compare their opinions with those of some 300 European political parties. 

Another important award will be announced soon, but before members of the ePractice.eu community are invited to vote for their three favourite cases for The European eGovernment Award among the 52 finalists. Online voting closes at 11th of November.



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(e) Participating in Copenhagen

24. October 2008 – 16:20 by Maren Luebcke

The annual conference of the Association of Internet Researchers was held in Copenhagen last week. Under the title “Rethinking Community, Rethinking Place” 400 researchers visited the IT University of Copenhagen and presented their current work on Internet research on a broad range of topics.

Worth to mention – and probably the most successful key note at the IR 9.0 was Stephen Grahams speech on “Sentient Cities: Ambient Intelligence and the Politics of Urban Space”. He basically works on the relations between urban places and mobility, infrastructure and technology on the one hand, and war, surveillance and geopolitics on the other. In his recent work – and in his talk – he describes the implications of new media technologies for urban life and the proliferation of urban surveillance systems which are increasingly automated through computer software. His latest book on this topic will be out in March 2009 under the title “Cities Under Siege: The New Military Urbanism”. It will be definitely worth reading it even if it will be a pretty frightening reading.

Interestingly most of the presented research on the conference followed a qualitative approach. Thus it was much more about giving a close description of areas like e-science, online games, religion online than providing statistical data on Internet usage, which I appreciate. Unfortunately the track on e-participation was a little bit disappointing.

But I was able to meet Thomas Hammer-Jakobsen, head of the Copenhagen Living Lab. Located close to the IT University the Copenhagen Living Lab tries to find answers how public administrations but also enterprises could meet the challenges of a changing society in terms of technological revolution and demographical changes through user driven innovations. I was very impressed how serious the Living Lab approach are taken by Thomas Hammer-Jakobsen and colleagues. They are really working on the concept of user driven innovations out of the daily users life by e.g. running a whole retirement community as a living lab. Currently they experiment with the development and the deployment of an online platform to support the process of user driven innovation on a variety of topics.

As mentioned earlier by Francesco here the combination of e-participation with the Living Lab approach might be a valuable idea. In particular, a potential benefit could be a careful preparation of the participatory trials by analysing the users needs to avoid – as Francesco stressed out – “the most common pitfalls of current eDemocracy experiences, such as: lack of active involvement from citizens and/or stakeholders, mistrust from the people, skepticism from the politicians, and ultimately a low reusability of upcoming results within the public decision making process.”

Lets hope that neither the promising area of e-participation nor the field of Living Lab research will suffering too badly from the current financial crisis.



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Edem08 in Krems

6. October 2008 – 15:07 by Maren Luebcke

From September 29th till the 30th the edem08 conference took place in beautiful Krems / Austria. Organized by the Danube University together with the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration two interesting days date back. After evote08 (organised by pep-net member e-voting.cc) the edem08 conference focussed on the broad spectrum of eDemocracy in general. Read the rest of this entry »