28 November from 10.30 to 12.30 - Room 2  - Palais de l'Europe

Interpretation: FR/EN/RU


How legitimate and effective on-line petition tools are in achieving real results without being connected to institutions and existing constitutional frameworks?
Do they trigger genuine engagement or do they lead to a devaluation of participation?
How transparent are their business models?

Change.org, Transnational

Change.org is the world's largest petition platform with more than 30 million Change.org users in 196 countries. Whether it's a mother fighting bullying in her daughter's school, customers pressing banks to drop unfair fees, or citizens calling corrupt officials to account, thousands of campaigns started by ordinary citizens have won on Change.org. Change.org provides the tools and the know-how to campaign for a cause, and by inspiring everyone to discover what's possible when they stand up and speak out.

Website: http://www.change.org


Ms Paula HANNEMANN, Germany, Campaigns Director for Change.org in Germany

Paula Hannemann is the Campaigns Director for Change.org in Germany. Previously, Paula worked as Social Media and Online Campaigning Manager at the World Wide Fund for Nature – the largest environmental organisation worldwide. In her role as head of social media and online campaigning Paula designed the organisation‘s social media programme. Within two years WWF became one of the leading German NGOs in social media mobilisation. Paula holds a master degree in communication sciences and business administration (Berlin and Beijing).


Ms Preethi HERMAN, India, Country Lead and Campaigns Director for Change.org in India

Preethi is Country Lead for Change.org in India. She is passionate about building decentralised, democratic leadership structures. Over the last decade, she has gained vast experience with various forms of organising working with tribal groups in the hinterland of India, environmental organisations, trade unions or women's associations. Preethi now oversees outreach, strategy and implementation of campaigns and building a strong empowering platform through Change.org for the largest democracy in the world.


Russian Public Initiative, Russian Federation

The Russian Public Initiative is an online system introduced by the Russian authorities for the public presentation and balloting of proposals from Russian citizens. The government will consider all proposals garnering the support of at least 100,000 citizens. It is in line with authorities' efforts to ensure that on the one hand people have some degree of participation in legislative or normative initiatives and on the other hand that the government can monitor people's concerns.

Website: http://www.roi.ru


Mr Ilya MASSUKH, Russia, President of the Informational Democracy Foundation and Former Deputy Minister of Communications and Mass Media of the Russian Federation

Mr. Ilya Massukh is the President of the Informational Democracy Foundation (the Russian NGO managing the official government public e-petitions site www.roi.ru). Prior to that, he served several years as Deputy Minister of Communications and Mass Media of Russia. In that role he was charged with many e-Gov and e-Democracy projects within governmental programs. Before that he served as Department Director of IBM branch in Russian Federation. He is known as a pioneer of e-democracy in Russia.


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

Mr Dmitry DEDOV, Russian Federation, Judge at the European Court for Human Rights

Dmitry Dedov is a judge at the European Court for Human Rights since January 2013. He was a professor at the Center for Transnational Legal Studies in London and at the Law School of the Moscow Lomonossov University (2004-2010). From 2008 to 2012 he worked as a judge for the Russian Supreme Commercial Court; before becoming a judge at the Supreme Commercial Court he was the head of its Legislation Department.

Mr Ayman ITANI, Lebanon, Digital Media Strategist

Ayman Itani is a forward-thinking Digital Media Strategist who uses a combination of creative vision and rigorous analysis in the media to help build, restructure, and transform companies. Through the New Media Marketing Agency "Think Media Labs", he helps bridging the gap from established Media to new types of Digital Media in the Middle East. Itani also lectures and gives workshops on communication, media, user interaction design, history of technology, Internet architecture, the social web, and fully takes advantage of the industry shifts incubated by the Internet, specifically on content generation, consumption, distribution, and commercialization.


Mr Mark JOHNSON, United Kingdom, Journalist, The Economist 

Mark Johnson is The Economist's Internet and society correspondent, writing about technology, politics and international relations. He is also The Economist's Community editor, managing and developing interactive features on The Economist online and across several social networks. Before joining The Economist in 2010 he worked in publishing, developing digital strategy at HarperCollins. 


Ms Tracey SIMPSON‐LAING, United Kingdom, Councillor, City of York, Member of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe

First elected in 1999, Councillor Tracey Simpson-Laing is the Deputy Leader of the City of York Council (population 200,000) where she is responsible for Democracy & Electoral Services and Civics and holds the Cabinet Portfolio of Health Housing & Adult Social Services. Academically she holds a BSc Social Science with Policy & Sociology and an MA Social Policy & Criminology. She is a UK Local Government Association Peer Mentor and a member of the Congress of the Council of Europe and its Governance Committee. Tracey was born in York and lives with her teenage daughter.

Rapporteur to the plenary session

Ms Alina GORGHIU, Member of Parliament, Romania, Member of the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

Alina Gorghiu is a Member of the Romanian Parliament at her second mandate. Throughout her professional,   academic and parliamentarian work, she promotes alternate dispute resolution methods within the Romanian judicial system, clean elections, volunteering and access to justice. Her recent PACE motion for a resolution tackled the "Access to justice through online instruments" issue. Alina is a Romanian lawyer and mediator and has a PhD in law concerning electoral crimes.



Mr Ulrich BUNJES, Special Policy Advisor, Directorate General of Democracy, Council of Europe



Your opinion

Does/Do the following initiative(s) increase significantly citizens' influence in the policy-making process and/or make democratic institutions more transparent, responsive and accountable? 

For the Change.org initiative:
% Voti
16% 324
a. Yes
84% 1.642
b. No

Voti Totali: 1.966

La votazione è disabilitata perché il sondaggio è scaduto il 29/11/13 12.00.

For the Russian Public initiative:
% Voti
95% 4.088
a. Yes
5% 234
b. No

Voti Totali: 4.322

La votazione è disabilitata perché il sondaggio è scaduto il 29/11/13 12.00.