4 November 2014 (10.30-12.30) - Room 10 – Palais de l’Europe, Interpretation: FR/EN


As ‘digital natives’ young people privilege the Internet as a source of information and space for exchange. Is it possible to take citizen participation to the next level by using artificial intelligence as a means for empowerment? Can we make political engagement more attractive and meaningful through gaming elements?

Your Priorities 3D, The Citizens Foundation, Iceland

The Citizens Foundation is developing a new open source e-democracy platform building on the success of “Your Priorities”, one of the first e-democracy applications to have been implemented to enable citizens to launch a regular dialogue with their elected representatives on an ongoing basis citywide. Your Priorities 3D aims at taking civic participation to the next level by empowering citizens and increasing participation through merging electronic democracy with machine learning algorithms and 3D gaming elements. Using artificial intelligence the software will find and present the data needed to participate in democracy whilst the user interface will be scalable from simple mobile interfaces to multi-user 3D worlds.

Website: http://www.citizens.is/


Mr Róbert Viðar BJARNASON, Iceland, President of the Citizens Foundation

Robert is a successful entrepreneur that introduced the web to Iceland in 1993 and in 1995 to Denmark. Before co-founding the Citizens Foundation with Gunnar Grimsson, he worked in the online gaming industry where his team received many industry awards including two BAFTA awards for games. Robert has extensive experience with AI algorithms and 3D software spanning over 20 years.


M. Gunnar GRIMSSON, Islande, Cofondateur de Citizens Foundation

Gunnar Grímsson is CEO and Co-Founder of the Citizens Foundation of Iceland, which provides open-source civic engagement platforms and won the pan-European e-democracy award at the 2011 World e-Gov Forum. Gunnar has been working in webdesign since '94, was Icelands first commercial webmaster and has taught web- and interface design in many Icelandic universities and colleges. Until starting the Citizens Foundation he worked as a freelance project manager and consultant for, amongst others, the University of Iceland, Icelandair, the Icelandic Parliament and the Central Bank of Iceland. He's been an activist since the age of 16.



Discussants are invited to make critical comments during the lab on the impact, transferrability, sustainability and risk of the initiative.

Ms Ons BEN ALBEDLKARIM, Tunisia, Secretary General of Al Bawsala

Ons is a 25 years-old engineer. She graduated from the French Engineering School Télécom Sud Paris (formerly Télécom INT) and has worked as a consultant for a security and risk management consulting firm in France before returning to Tunisia in 2013 where she joined Al Bawsala. Ons is currently the Secretary General of Al Bawsala, a Public Policy and Accountability NGO working on promoting human rights in Tunisia. Through its project marsad.tn (monitor in arabic), Al Bawsala monitors the work of the parliament, the state budget and municipalities, using new technologies to make the information collected accessible to citizens.Al Bawsala is considered in Tunisia as one of the most powerful NGOs. The organisation has won in 2012 the OpenGov award for transparency and in 2013 the World Summit Award for its parliament watchdog marsad.tn.

Ms Simone BERNSTEIN, USA, Co-Founder and President of volunTEENnation.org

Simone Bernstein is the Co-Founder and President of VolunTEEN Nation. Simone and her brother launched VolunTEEN Nation, a youth-led non-profit organization in the United States. With more than 8,500 volunteer postings on VolunTEEN Nation, more than 73,500 youth have found opportunities through the site and service projects. Simone is a 2010 L’Oreal Paris Woman of Worth, is on the 2013 Forbes 30 under 30 Social Entrepreneur list, and is one of Glamour’s 2013 Top 10 College Women. She is also on the Board of Directors for Youth Service America and a State Farm Youth Advisory Board member.


Mr Meng QINGTAO, the People’s Republic of China, Associate Professor of SWUPL (Southwest University of Political Science & Law)

Mr Meng Qingtao holds a Doctor of Laws (LL.D.), and is a post-doctoral fellow at Chongqing University. He is Associate Professor of Jurisprudence, and assistant of the director of the Center for Education & Study of Human Rights in SWUPL. He has written the following books: “Revolution & Constitution & Modernity”; “Environmental Right and its Lawsuit Relief”, translated: “Tyranny and Political Culture in Ancient Greece”, “A Handbook of Greek Constitutional History”,and “Ancient Greek Laws”. He has also published more than 30 papers.


Mr Josef HUBER, Head of the Pestalozzi Programme, Council of Europe

Josef Huber works in the Education Department, Directorate of Democratic Citizenship and Participation of the Council of Europe, where he is currently responsible for the Pestalozzi Programme, the Council of Europe programme for the training of education professionals and for activities in the field of media and information literacy. Up until July 2006 he was involved in the Council’s Higher Education and Research Division and was responsible for the organisation of two Higher Education fora on higher education governance (2005) and on the responsibility of higher education for a democratic culture (2006) and co-editor of the ensuing publications. From 1998 to 2004, as Head of Programmes and Deputy Executive Director of the European Centre for Modern Languages he was responsible for the Centre’s programme of activities and research and development projects and its publications series on language learning and teaching, intercultural communication and language education policy.


Ms Violette BERGER