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g4c2c: Enabling Citizen Engagement at Arms' Length from Government
 

g4c2c: Enabling Citizen Engagement at Arms' Length from Government

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Paper by Axel Bruns and Adam Swift, presented at EDEM 2010, Krems, Austria, 6 May 2010.

Paper by Axel Bruns and Adam Swift, presented at EDEM 2010, Krems, Austria, 6 May 2010.

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    g4c2c: Enabling Citizen Engagement at Arms' Length from Government g4c2c: Enabling Citizen Engagement at Arms' Length from Government Presentation Transcript

    • g4c2c: Enabling Citizen Engagement at Arms’ Length from Government Axel Bruns and Adam Swift ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation / Creative Industries Faculty Queensland University of Technology [email_address] – http://snurb.info/ – @snurb_dot_info [email_address]
    • Government 2.0 in Australia
      • From above:
        • E.g. DBCDE’s Digital Economy blog
        • Government-operated, resulting in general criticism
        • Problems with effective management by public service
        • Limited impact on government decision-making
      • From below:
        • E.g. GetUp!’s Project Democracy politician tracker
        • NGO-operated, good functionality
        • Problems with limited take-up by target community
        • Limited recognition by government decision-makers
      • (cf. Bruns & Wilson, EDEM 2009 )
    • (Excerpt from comments to first DBCDE blog post, archived at http://www.archive.dbcde.gov.au/2009/july/future_directions_blog/topics/minister_tanners_welcome)
    • g2c and c2c – Flawed Models?
      • g2c:
        • May be mere service delivery, not community consultation
        • Or: simply perceived as insubstantial spin
        • Apparent citizen participation as fig leaf for government
        • Process of impacting on government decisions unclear
      • c2c:
        • May generate open and engaged debate
        • But: often only by the usual (disempowered) suspects
        • Perception of inherent bias – unrepresentative community
        • Unable to match the clout of established lobby groups
        • Too distant from political actors to be recognised
    • Towards g4c2c
      • Desirable qualities for citizen consultation:
        • Government support and recognition
        • Independent and flexible operation and management
        • Distant enough to allow real community development
        • Close enough for outcomes to be accepted as meaningful
      • E.g. Australian Government 2.0 Task Force during 2009:
        • Initiated by federal government, but independent quasi-NGO
        • Hosted at gov2.net.au , separate from government servers
        • Significant initiatives to generate community participation
        • Outcomes recognised by federal government (but follow-up actions yet to be seen)
    • (Government 2.0 Task Force’s GovHack event, 30-31 Oct. 2009)
    • g4c2c
      • Government support for citizen-to-citizen initiatives:
        • Hybrid model combining g2c and c2c aspects
        • Government-supported, but at arms’ length from government
        • Public service broadcasting approach (and operated by PSBs?)
        • Participation by citizens as well as politicians and officials
        • Cf. ‘Civic Commons 2.0’ (Coleman & Blumler 2009):
          • a space of intersecting networks, pulled together through the agency of a democratically connecting institution (182)
    • Lost Opportunity: Australia’s 2020 Summit
      • Australia 2020 Summit (19-20 April 2008):
        • Gathering of 1000 invited notable Australians
        • Debate across ten ‘critical areas’ for the future
        • Open forum for generating and harnessing new ideas
        • Distilled into a report for government
        • Blanket coverage on ABC2 digital TV channel, and online fora
        • But: online fora cumbersome, and closed only days after Summit
        • Summit report produced by public servants, with little follow-up
        • No continuing debate on Summit issues (also due to GFC)
        • Journalistic coverage one-way and one-dimensional
    • ( Australia 2020 Summit – Image courtesy of the Australian Government, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet)
    • 2020 as g4c2c: Imaging Future Australia
      • What would a g4c2c version of the 2020 Summit look like?
        • Broader community participation:
          • Open online fora in addition to the 1000 Summit delegates
          • Intersection of online and offline consultations
        • Arms’ length from government:
          • Operated by ABC or dedicated public service body
          • Officially endorsed but independently organised and reported
        • Longer timeframe:
          • Initial development of themes and selection of participants
          • Summit as central event, but connected with other activities
          • Tracking of outcomes and their implementation in policy
    • Further Information
      • Axel Bruns
      • Associate Professor
      • ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation
      • Creative Industries Faculty
      • Queensland University of Technology
      • Brisbane, Australia
      • [email_address] – @snurb_dot_info
      • http://snurb.info/
      • http://produsage.org/
      • http://gatewatching.org/
      • Blogs, Wikipedia, Second Life, and Beyond:From Production to Produsage (Peter Lang, 2008)
      • Uses of Blogs , eds. Axel Bruns and Joanne Jacobs (Peter Lang, 2006)
      • Gatewatching: Collaborative Online News Production (Peter Lang, 2005)
      Adam Swift Researcher Creative Industries Faculty Queensland University of Technology Brisbane, Australia [email_address]