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.
The two days started with interesting keynotes. On Monday, Ann Macintosh, head of the department for digital governance, University of Leeds, emphasized at her presentation that most of the current eparticipation projects pretend to do deliberation but most of them fall short of several important aspects. Her key argument was that deliberation should not only allow citizens to express their view, but also to get an impression on the others’ opinion, as well as the opportunity to form an own, to dissent from the others’ perspective and to change it. As one can easily imagine, Ann Macintosh initiated a lively discussion and her presentation escorted the whole afternoon session with reports on several projects.
Tuesday, Steven Clift suggested at his keynote to integrate the concept of “place” into the Internet. While the Internet is usually seen as a global medium, independent from space and time, it could gain a new quality if information could be combined with place, like e.g. for the organization of local community neighbourhood. Joining this plenary session, Jeremy Millard (Danish Technological Institute) and David Newman (Queens University Management School Belfast) also had interesting talks. Thanks to the perfect organisation by the Centre of E-Government of Danube University Krems, all this keynotes will be hopefully online soon.