CitizenLab https://www.citizenlab.co/blog Citizen participation made easy Tue, 17 Sep 2019 13:22:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.2 https://www.citizenlab.co/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/cropped-shield_logo-2-32x32.png CitizenLab https://www.citizenlab.co/blog 32 32 Citizen Initiatives: a new feature to increase citizens’ say in policy-making https://www.citizenlab.co/blog/civic-engagement/citizen-initiatives-a-new-feature-to-increase-citizens-say-in-policy-making/ https://www.citizenlab.co/blog/civic-engagement/citizen-initiatives-a-new-feature-to-increase-citizens-say-in-policy-making/#respond Mon, 16 Sep 2019 09:33:45 +0000 https://www.citizenlab.co/blog/?p=18802 The time of top-down governance is coming to an end. As demands for more transparency and citizen involvement are growing, citizen-led change is happening everywhere across the world. Whether it’s on social media or through official channels, petitions and public initiatives can now quickly gather support and force governments to listen up. Integrating these processes into local governments has the power to change democracies, says our co-founder. Rather than trying to avoid this phenomenon, many local governments are embracing the change. They perceive this as a way to re-invent dialogue with their citizens and give them a say in decision-making. […]

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Citizens’ initiatives: moving from low to high politics https://www.citizenlab.co/blog/civic-tech/citizens-initiative/ https://www.citizenlab.co/blog/civic-tech/citizens-initiative/#respond Fri, 13 Sep 2019 08:50:12 +0000 https://www.citizenlab.co/blog/?p=18754 Over the last years, civic technology has increasingly reached maturity, as more and more governments have started using online platforms to consult their citizens. However, most of these consultations are done on a set of narrowly defined topics, helping to implement existing policies… rather than getting new policies on the agenda. To upgrade our local democracies for the digital age, the public should be empowered to set the agenda through easy-to-use citizens’ initiatives. In order to bring moribund local politics back to life, we need to shift the participation agenda from low to high politics. We could either rely on […]

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What’s the difference between deliberative and participatory democracy? https://www.citizenlab.co/blog/civic-engagement/whats-the-difference-between-deliberative-and-participatory-democracy/ https://www.citizenlab.co/blog/civic-engagement/whats-the-difference-between-deliberative-and-participatory-democracy/#respond Wed, 11 Sep 2019 08:00:00 +0000 https://www.citizenlab.co/blog/?p=17339 Deliberative and participatory democracy seem to be pretty similar. And they are, in ways: both are democratic systems that give citizens a role in governance. In both deliberative and participatory democracies, citizens play the starring role. They are empowered to let their voice be heard and, in different ways, weigh in on the way their community is governed. And yet, they are not the same, and they shouldn’t be used interchangeably.In short, we can state that participatory democracy focuses on empowering citizens to take action, whereas a deliberative system focuses on reaching consensus through discussion, debate and information. The combination […]

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Civic tech tools and the future of elections https://www.citizenlab.co/blog/civic-tech/civic-tech-tools-and-the-future-of-elections/ https://www.citizenlab.co/blog/civic-tech/civic-tech-tools-and-the-future-of-elections/#respond Mon, 09 Sep 2019 10:46:15 +0000 https://www.citizenlab.co/blog/?p=18639 Civic tech is now everywhere. Technological innovations have invaded the democratic field, and these tools are in the process of reinventing the way local governments interact with their citizens. From participatory budgeting platforms to idea collection, civic tech is now part of the daily life of many cities across the world. What role do they have to play in election campaigns? The 2012 presidential race in the United States was the first to show that technology could win elections. By using digital tools to help campaigners organise and focus the door to door campaigning efforts, Barack Obama’s campaign team gained […]

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15+ Must-Attend Upcoming Smart City Conferences [Fall 2019 Update] https://www.citizenlab.co/blog/civic-engagement/8-must-attend-smart-city-events/ https://www.citizenlab.co/blog/civic-engagement/8-must-attend-smart-city-events/#comments Sun, 08 Sep 2019 09:40:00 +0000 http://citizenlab.co/blog/?p=759 Every year, there are hundreds of interesting Smart City events across the globe, allowing you to network and connect with government leaders, civic tech startups and other urban innovators. Grab your calendar and a big red marker, because we’ve made our yearly selection! These are the upcoming events you shouldn’t miss out on. This list is frequently updated with the list of upcoming events.  1. Smart City Solutions Where and when? Stuttgart – Germany. September 17-19, 2019 What? This conference brings together city officials, designers, companies and developers who are working on the technologies that will fuel tomorrow’s cities. It […]

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5 political documentaries to watch this autumn https://www.citizenlab.co/blog/civic-engagement/5-political-documentaries-to-watch-this-autumn/ https://www.citizenlab.co/blog/civic-engagement/5-political-documentaries-to-watch-this-autumn/#respond Thu, 05 Sep 2019 08:45:28 +0000 https://www.citizenlab.co/blog/?p=18560 As the nights are getting crisp and summer is slowly fading, we’re spending more and more time indoors. But that doesn’t mean we have to hibernate. As it turns out, Netflix streams a wide range of documentaries that address democracy, political systems, personal data, elections, and citizen movements. Getting smarter about the world we live in while staying inside with a cup of tea? That is our cup of tea. 1. Knock Down The House (2019) What is it about? This film tells the story of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Amy Vilela, Cori Bush and Paula Jean Swearengin, four female Democrats who […]

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Civic tech reads of the week #28 https://www.citizenlab.co/blog/newsletter/reads-of-the-week/civic-tech-reads-of-the-week-28/ https://www.citizenlab.co/blog/newsletter/reads-of-the-week/civic-tech-reads-of-the-week-28/#respond Fri, 30 Aug 2019 13:37:30 +0000 https://www.citizenlab.co/blog/?p=18550 Hello civic tech enthusiasts, hello smart city nerds, hello citizen participation fans! Summer might be almost over, but new digital democracy projects are starting all over the world. Here’s what we’ve been reading this week. 1. “Why governments should be prioritising community involvement from the start“, by Nesta This article starts with chicken shop boxes and ends with community engagement. By looking at the failure of the government’s recent knife free campaign, Nesta reflects on what makes efficient policy change and why citizens should be involved in these processes. 2. “Start-ups can show the way to public sector transformation“, by […]

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What’s the Difference Between “Civic Tech” and “GovTech”? https://www.citizenlab.co/blog/civic-tech/whats-difference-civic-tech-govtech/ https://www.citizenlab.co/blog/civic-tech/whats-difference-civic-tech-govtech/#respond Thu, 29 Aug 2019 10:11:00 +0000 http://37.139.4.228/?p=11099 This article was published on the Apolitical blog. In recent years, “Civic Tech” and “GovTech” have become popular catch-phrases, often loosely used to describe innovations in the field of government and citizen participation. But are they really the same thing? Despite sounding very similar Civic Tech and GovTech actually describe two very different concepts: they are used by different audiences, and serve very different purposes. What might seem like a small semantic difference is actually the reflection of a fundamental balance between two founding principles of democracy: legitimacy and efficiency. “Civic Tech” was initially the predominant term. Google searches show that searches […]

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CitizenLab launches in Chile, Latin America https://www.citizenlab.co/blog/announcements/citizen-participation-in-chile-a-new-partnership/ https://www.citizenlab.co/blog/announcements/citizen-participation-in-chile-a-new-partnership/#respond Sun, 25 Aug 2019 13:09:00 +0000 https://www.citizenlab.co/blog/?p=18122 Awareness about the value and importance of citizen participation is gradually spreading across the globe. As a result, we’ve got some very exciting news to share: CitizenLab is launching in Chile! CitizenLab is officially launching in Latin America. We’ve joined forces with local partners Pablo Valenzuela and Magdalena Gatica Monteiro to implement citizen participation in Chile. But who are our partners, and what drives them? What’s the Chilean political context? And which projects are the first ones to launch in this new market? Introducing: CitizenLab Chile. Our local partners in Chile “I’m a lawyer with a passion for designing collective […]

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Civic Tech Reads of the Week #27 https://www.citizenlab.co/blog/civic-engagement/civic-tech-reads-of-the-week-27/ https://www.citizenlab.co/blog/civic-engagement/civic-tech-reads-of-the-week-27/#respond Fri, 23 Aug 2019 09:29:54 +0000 https://www.citizenlab.co/blog/?p=18460 For all you democracy devotees and civic tech connoisseurs, here’s our brand-new weekly reading list! This week we’re discussing city health, AI, training the leaders of today, populism, and a phenomenon called “government sinkholes.” Intrigued? Let’s dive right in! “How city life affects your health and happiness” by BBC At this moment, 55% of the world population lives in rural areas. A recent study has compared the air we breathe in our cities to “smoking a pack of cigarettes every day for 29 years”, but air pollution is also making us more anxious, less smart, less wealthy, and more prone […]

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