Lab 5 – E-democracy
8 November 2022, 9.00-11.00 - Room 9 – Palais de l’Europe
sponsored by the Conference of INGO
Fast-paced technology development and emerging media sources have allowed E-democracy to become an important component of the traditional concept of democracy. Today, it’s easier than ever before to engage a large number of the public in democratic processes, decision-making, and exchanges of opinion.
However, are we adequately prepared to face the challenges brought by technological developments? Are existing or forthcoming e-democracy tools really helpful or sufficient to have an impact on slowing down or eventually reversing democratic backsliding?
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Civic initiative platform – ManaBalss.lv – MyVoice
The non-profit Organisation MyVoice, founded in 2011, works in the field of digital democracy and public engagement. MyVoice’s mission is to develop and promote digital tools for better civic participation in decision-making processes. The organisation’s mission is to create and strengthen the digital democracy ecosystem in Latvia. Behind the mission are essential elements, such as the security and sustainability of humanity, inclusive power, and participatory society. The biggest challenge for the organisation is to involve politically and socially passive citizens in civic activities. When developing new digital tools and improving existing ones, we always think about whether it will be interesting for every inhabitant of Latvia to use them and how we can encourage people to use them more and more actively.
Dace is the force behind MyVoice, an organization working in the field of digital democracy and public engagement. Relying on her extensive commercial experience in marketing and communication, she is now leveraging her knowledge and leading projects and campaigns on the importance of civic participation locally and internationally, challenging herself to involve politically and socially passive citizens in civic activities. Dace has a master's degree in history and is a co-founder of the think tank "Solido."
Astrea Justice – Justice Code Foundation Trust
On a general basis, the Justice Code Foundation Trust uses modern and innovative ways to ensure that citizens’ rights are protected, promoted, fulfilled, and remedied adequately in a timely manner. Therefore, it recognizes and acknowledges that for citizens to acquire a remedy, enjoy protection of some of their rights, it does not just end by empowering the citizen alone but it goes beyond to also ensure that other key players are equally empowered, such as government departments, private sectors. ASTREA JUSTICE (human rights remedy app), informs and educates the societies of their legal rights in three local languages: Shona, English and Ndebele. The solution educates the citizens on their rights to administrative justice, vote, demonstrate and petition, equality before the law, rights of the arrested persons and personal security inter alia in simple terms for easy understanding, informing citizens the contents of the right and going on further to inform them what to do in case such right has been violated.
Courteney (Takura) MUKOYI
Founder of Justice Code Foundation
Courteney Mukoyi is the founder of Justice Code Foundation, a CivicTech organization in Zimbabwe that leverages technology for civic good. Some of the projects that his organization work on are : Astrea Justice (a human rights remedy mobile app) VoteBot (an AI powered elections platform). He is one of the young trailblazers in technology and civic space and justice in Zimbabwe. Conscious of the digital divide in Zimbabwe and Africa, his organization uses scalable technologies that understands the locals in enhancing civic engagement.
Polltix.co – VšĮ Pilietinės Technologijos
Polltix is a non-profit that tackles two global challenges: the declining trust in democracies and the decreasing rates of civic participation. We solve these challenges through our proprietary digital platform that facilitates direct and simple public consultations between the public sector and the citizens. Our public consultations consist of a single question, a brief description that presents the topic in a neutral way, response options and a place for a comment citizens can leave if they want to share specific arguments or ideas. What sets us apart is our focus on not only the polling infrastructure, but also audience-building, which we do by promoting the public consultations through social media ads, media and influencer partnerships.
Co-founder of Polltix and counter-disinformation expert
Donara Barojan is a co-founder of Polltix and a counter-disinformation expert. Polltix is a civic tech start-up that solves the challenge of declining political trust and misinformation by enabling the public sector to directly consult with the public. The start-up already has 30+ public sector clients, including 14 MPs and 55,000 users in Lithuania alone. Polltix is currently scaling to Latvia, Poland, and the UK. Prior to starting Polltix, Ms Barojan led the largest media development project in the Baltic states, and served as the head of operations at a safety tech start-up in London. She started her career researching disinformation at the Atlantic Council and the NATO StratCom Centre of Excellence. Donara holds a bachelors in international relations from LSE and a masters in strategic communications from King's College London.
European Capital of Democracy’s Citizens’ Jury – ECoD Gemeinnützige GmbH (ECoD NPO)
ECoD gemeinnützige GmbH (ECoD NPO) is a non profit organisation based in Vienna with a Europe-wide network of partners. The purpose of the organisation is to promote democracy governance and strengthen social cohesion by promoting and expanding democratic participation and democratic awareness, and by strengthening established and news forms of democratic practice in Europe. The main activity of the ERoD NPO is the yearly designation of the European Capital of Democracy (ECoD) – as a Europe-wide initiative for strengthening participatory and deliberative democracy. In co-operation with civil society and citizens, the designated city will curate, organise, and implement a wide range of activities and events.
Founder and Chief Political Strategist at the Innovation in Politics Institute
Helfried Carl is a Founder and Chief Political Strategist at the Innovation in Politics Institute in Vienna and the Founder of the European Capital of Democracy Initiative. In his diplomatic carreer, he served as Austria’s Ambassador to Slovakia, Chief of Cabinet of the President of the Austrian parliament, Political Councillor at the Austrian Mission to the UN in New York and as Deputy Head of Cabinet to the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina. He received an M.A. in International Relations and International Politics at the School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University. He is currently on leave from the Austrian foreign service.
CEO of the European Capital of Democracy Non Profit Organisation
Stefan Sindelar is Head of Operations at the Vienna-based Innovation in Politics Institute and CEO of the European Capital of Democracy Non Profit Organisation. After his studies of media technology and design, he started his professional career in Journalism, communication, and IT. Entering politics in 2013 with a successful campaign for the Austrian and European Parliament, he served as Managing Director for the Austrian Liberal’s Parliamentary Club and Party. His work experience spans the non-profit, start-up, business and political field. He has leadership skills in managing mixed and networked teams with a focus on developing disruptive products and growing innovative organisations.
Discussants are invited to take part in the Labs in order to share their experience with the presented democratic initiatives and try to bring broader perspectives to the following discussions.
Managing director of Kiron, Winner of the Democracy Innovation award 2016
Tobias Ernst is Managing Director of Kiron Open Higher Education gGmbH and the former Deputy Managing Director of Teach First Deutschland gGmbH. Before this he served as a Manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers and Project Lead for Bertelsmann Stiftung in the areas of Sustainability and Good Governance. Tobias is living with his family in Hamburg, Germany.
Pratik is a civic innovator and the founder of Shaasan, a non-profit civic initiative that promotes civic engagement and accountable governance in Nepal through civic technology, digital media, and grassroots empowerment. Shaasan was hailed as 'national changemaker' by Accountability Lab and selected as Top 50 Global Solutions for the SDGs by the United Nations SDSN in 2020. In 2021, Shaasan was a finalist for the CIVICUS Innovation Award for ‘protecting and promoting digital civic space’. As the recipient of the Peaceful Futures Scholarship, Pratik spoke about Shaasan's pioneering work to over 2000 leaders from 200 countries at the One Young World Summit 2022. Pratik currently serves on the Impact Council of the World Economic Forum's Global Shapers Community.
President of Social Platform
Piotr Sadowski has been President of Social Platform since April 2019. His second mandate as President was renewed in May 2019, just after his intervention at the Porto Social Summit on behalf of Europe’s civil society. He has been Secretary General of Volonteurope (an international civil society network advocating for volunteering and active citizenship as routes to achieving more social justice) since 2008. In 2021 he was elected as Volonteurope's representative to the Steering Group of the Civil Society Convention on the Future of Europe. Piotr represents Volonteurope and wider European Civil Society interests in the EESC Liaison Group and, within the pillars of the Council of Europe, he is an elected member of the INGO Conference Standing Committee. Polish by birth, he lives between Spain and the UK, but above all, considers himself to be a European citizen.
- Labs 2022
- Lab 1 – Youth Participation
- Lab 2 – Civic Education
- Lab 3 – History, Awareness and the Power of narrative
- Lab 4 – Citizens’ Engagement
- Lab 5 – E-democracy
- Lab 6 – Social Inclusion
- Lab 7 – Polarisation and Democratic Engagement
- Lab 8 – Elections
- Lab 9 – Protection of Activists and Human Rights’ Defenders
- Lab 10 - Fighting disinformation and the power of social media