Report Wikicrats Workshop Reboot2009 Nadia Elimam

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Workshop held at Reboot 11, organised for the European Commission by Bror Salmelin and Nadia EL-Imam and observed by Freek Van Krevel. Special thanks to Alberto Cottica, Thomas Madsen-Mygdal, Thorben Olander, Ton Zijlstra, Emma Thielke, David Osimo, Kim Bach, Peter Kaptein, Erlend Kyte, Francesco, Nunzia Coco and Fredrik Smedberg for your kind help and engagement .

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Report Wikicrats Workshop Reboot2009 Nadia Elimam

  1. 1. Workshop Report Future-building for Wikicrats. Workshop held at Reboot 11, June 25-26, Copenhagen Initiated by Information Society and Media; the department for ICT addressing societal challenges. Organised for the European Commission by Bror Salmelin and Nadia El-Imam. Disclaimer: This report summarises the outcome of the workshop held in the Reboot 2009 event. It represents the view of the rapporteur and the participants, and is not binding the European Commission in its actions. Report by Nadia EL-Imam :www.linkedin.com/nadiaelimam.com Emailt: nnegash@gmail.com Skype: niasan
  2. 2. How to use this document Document organisation This document is divided into three sections. The first, “Where we started” presents our hypothesis as well as some general information about the Reboot event and why we decided to hold the first Wikicrats workshop there. The second section, “Where we got to”, presents the workshop results and a summary documentation of its contents including a summary of the major discussions that took place. The third section, “Where to go next “, puts forward proposals for further action as suggested by participants in the workshop. I used many quotations from sessions to render the lively participatory atmosphere of the workshop sessions at Reboot. These quotations are not attributed to named individuals as we do not have written consent from all the participants to do so. In addition to the author´s own material, some photos used in the document come from Ton Zijlstra- and Martin Bauer´s flickr accounts ( tagged “wikicrats”) and are used under a Creative Commons license. Special thanks to Fredrik Smedberg for his help in documenting the workshop. Report by Nadia EL-Imam :www.linkedin.com/nadiaelimam.com Emailt: nnegash@gmail.com Skype: niasan
  3. 3. Aidanmedia Table of Contents Where we started 4 Our hypotheses 4 About the workshop 4 Where we got to 7 What happened 7 What was discussed 8 Discussion tied to expert presentations 8 Discussions tied to brainstorming sessions 11 Results 13 Where to go next 15 Final recommendations: the need for an interface 15 Workshop report: Future-building for Wikicrats, Reboot11, June 25-26 2009, Copenhagen 3 Nadia EL-Imam Today, 12:59 f.m. Added Text
  4. 4. Where we started Our hypotheses It seems that European technology policy is not discussed by the people most affected by it. This had been the subject of an ongoing conversation between Bror Salmelin, myself and others at Echallenges 2008 and elsewhere. As a result of this ongoing conversation the following hypotheses were formulated: • There is a significant difference in use of ICT amongst netizens and how public administrations work. The way the net culture is using ICT can be a seen as a model for ordinary users in the near future. It is therefor necessary to bridge this gap. • There is a hidden interest to participate in and be involved in European policy processes amongst the tech literate outside the Brussels circuit. Whether or not people wish to engage with government and public administration depends on many different factors all of which together render any individual initiative interesting and credible or not; initiatives that succeed in engaging the community are must be grounded in the culture and values of the community in all its components from ideation though to delivery and assessment. • There is a gap between ICT innovation policies and ICT innovation practice. We think net culture and communities can be engaged in helping to bridge it. About the workshop We decided to test our hypothesis by experimentally creating an interaction locus between Euro- tech policies and people who normally don´t take part in the policy debate. The way we decided to go about this was to set up a workshop at Reboot, a hacker conference. This workshop was an experiment in engaging people outside the Brussels circuit in the discussion about governance, policy modelling and technology innovation in Europe. The broader objective for doing so is the pursuit of solid technology and societal policy in the knowledge society in order to achieve sustainable societal behaviour; “The workshop/event in Reboot is to be seen as initiator for a deeper debate on the future policy modelling and governance in the knowledge society, enabling value community building, negotiation, mediation across those communities and decision making structures; to explore new politics processes.” We decided to set the workshop at Reboot as we wanted to engage users, creators and innovators of technology from highly diverse backgrounds who are not the usual “technology policy experts” you come across Report by Nadia EL-Imam :www.linkedin.com/nadiaelimam.com Emailt: nnegash@gmail.com Skype: niasan
  5. 5. Aidanmedia in European Commission contexts. Why go about it this way? We believe that these meetings of value systems and frames of reference could generate novel ways of thinking about technology policy. About Reboot Reboot is an annual 2-day event that takes place in Copenhagen. The organisers manage venue booking, catering, ticket sales as well as maintain the website. The schedule is emergent: members of the community sign into the website and suggest speakers, topics and presentations or workshops by posting proposals, which then are rated by the other members of the community. The proposals which receive the most votes (or “likes”) are given a slot on the program. Lacking a top-down schedule management, the quality of the experience is ensured by the Reboot community´s co-creating the conference they want by having a very active role in it´s making. Reboot is often referred to as an “unconference” due to its bottom-up structure. Workshop report: Future-building for Wikicrats, Reboot11, June 25-26 2009, Copenhagen 5
  6. 6. Aidanmedia Every year the conference, its date schedule, location, speaker programme, ticketing, web site and many other aspects are determined at the last minute. While it takes a little time to get used to, the consensus amongst the community seems to be “it works out every year, just go with the flow”. This formula is obviously quite successful. What started out in 1999 as an event with a Danish focus, has grown into a meetup of the international hacker community that attracts 500 participants from over 22 countries. Reboot 2009 sold out, and was attended by internet gurus like David Weinberger and Bruce Sterling. Programmers, designers, innovators, entrepreneurs, thinkers, bloggers, and activists. And many others for whom labels have not yet been invented frequent Reboot. “Reboot is a place for people to come together once a year and reboot their minds with perspective, inspiration and relationships.” Workshop report: Future-building for Wikicrats, Reboot11, June 25-26 2009, Copenhagen 6
  7. 7. Where we got to What happened “it was a pleasure to participate. it was not smooth and flowing discussion, but this is the very reason we need this stuff - for the difference and incompatibility of these worlds. you did good in pushing and animating towards something concrete...” “ How can the people get a place at the government table? lots of small individuals versus a few big companies.” “imagine all these digital visionaries used to instant satisfaction working inside a big government. This is clash of civilisation” Day 1 of the workshop consisted of participation in presentations held by various members of the Reboot community, including engagement in the “Future-building for Wikicrats” Session; two consecutive 45 minute sessions of expert presentations followed by a structured ideation session. Part of the audience from the presentations joined us for a brainstorming and ideation session in a public space outdoors where we were also joined by curious passers by who became engaged. The brainstorming session continued for another hour on day 2 and was followed by some hands-on design work for one of the proposed post-Reboot actions. Day 1 Session type Documentation Session 1 Expert Presentations See table 2 15:00-15:40 Session 2 Expert Presentations See table 2 15:40-16:20 Session 3 Discussions tied to expert See “ Discussions tied to expert presentations” 16:20-17:00 presentations Session 4 Ideation session with post-its See “ Discussions tied to brainstorming sessions” 17:00-19:00 Day 2 Session type Documentation Session 5 Brainstorming See “ Discussions tied to brainstorming sessions” 11:00-11:40 Session 6 Design and implementation session https://secure.cute.se/reboot/index_old.htm 14:00-17:00 Table 1. The “Future-building for wikicrats” workshop at Reboot11 Nadia EL-Imam Today, 12:55 f.m. Formatted: British English Report by Nadia EL-Imam :www.linkedin.com/nadiaelimam.com Emailt: nnegash@gmail.com Skype: niasan
  8. 8. Aidanmedia Six invited experts and an observer (Freek Van Krevel) from the European Commission. Also present were members of the Reboot community who either listened to the presentations, participated in the brainstorming or both. In addition we managed to engage two designers and a programmer from the Reboot community in doing practical design work to implement one of the ideas generated during the workshop. On average there were between 10-25 participants in the Wikicrats sessions at any one time. It is hard to give an exact overall participation figure as people walked in and out of the sessions continuously; a rough estimate would be that around 50 to 60 of the 500 participants at Reboot were involved at some point. What was discussed Discussion tied to expert presentations Name Info Slides Alberto Cottica www.linkedin.com/in/albertocottica http://www.slideshare.net/haiku66/technology-poli cy-and-me Robin Chase www.robinchase.org/ http://www.slideshare.net/guest861f59e/copenhag en-robin-chase Elvira Berlingieri www.linkedin.com/in/berlingieri http://www.slideshare.net/Elvira.Berlingieri/reboot1 1-elvira-berlingieri Gianluca Dettori www.linkedin.com/in/dpixel no slides David Osimo www.linkedin.com/in/osimod http://www.slideshare.net/osimod/reboot11osimo# Gohar Sargsyan unavailable presentation not uploaded to slideshare Freek Van Krevel www.linkedin.com/in/freekvankrevel presentation not uploaded to slideshare Table 2. Contents of expert presentations The distance between ICT innovation policies and ICT innovation practice “Focus on how government can help new small companies” “The public sector should start using one-man, start-up and small consultancies etc.- maybe creating a special office that can facilitate this, a tender office for very small companies” “When government use consultants/choose vendors they should consider not always using large companies, but rather mirror the fact that the vast majority of companies are small” “A lot of start-ups are small but very talented... Don't make laws/regulations. Just hire/use services that work!” “Citizens are experts! I know more about building an internet start-up than anyone who has not done it. Please ask me.” “We should invest in small businesses innovative research grants.” Workshop report: Future-building for Wikicrats, Reboot11, June 25-26 2009, Copenhagen 8
  9. 9. Aidanmedia The discussion about which policies that improve out ability to nurture innovation and start-up activity was initiated with Gianluca Dettori´s description of his experiences as a venture capitalist in Italy and the vast difference in perspective between commercial investors and government business incubators; He gave one example of a company that had remained in a government incubator for 8 years, and judging from other comments and discussions at Reboot this is not an isolated incident. There were several suggestions that popped up during these discussions, many highlighting the exclusion that many smaller businesses feel from ICT policy making and investment in nurturing innovation activity in society. Public administrations who adopt a problem solving attitude are very appreciated, like in the Portuguese case of Impresa na hora, a clever “hack” of existing legislation which helps entrepreneurs wanting to create a business cut through the red tape. Impresa na Workshop report: Future-building for Wikicrats, Reboot11, June 25-26 2009, Copenhagen 9
  10. 10. Aidanmedia hora did not require broad reform, and only minimal involvement of the political level. It can be a model because it is a patch: it works and it can be deployed quickly, consistently with hacker ethics. On government, governance and participation “as we're talking about action the most important targets are not corporations, governments or organizations. We the people are the number one agents for change in this world. In particular small businesses, technologists, writers. The above mentioned 3 targets [meaning corporations etc.] have vested interests in not changing things.” “I... would suggest to create these '10 point' lists for different scopes of influence. What can you do to create action directly around you, around local gov, around your organisation etc.? (I must admit that I am highly sceptical about the need to use incumbent structures to act though)” There was a larger discussion about the role of government and its inability to evolve and adapt to the major social and technical changes we are all witnessing. Some participants attributed this inability to adapt to civil servants lacking knowledge, incentive or confidence to push through important changes, or even to engage with citizens for fear of repercussions; “Civil servants are not educated to respond to suggestions from people...Government officials should be empowered to engage in open conversations with citizens. It should be OK to admit failure as government official.” “We should discuss how to enable government officials to be participants in communities” “I am impressed by how common it is for civil servants to be dismissive of their own culture, that of public administration. They basically go out there and tell everyone “we are lagging behind, we are slow and can’t achieve change”. And of course the hackers, who are very very proud of their own culture, buy into that. But that is just plain wrong. Public administration is an ancient, powerful culture which achieved wonders. It gave us water pipes, railways, roads: even the internet started out as a government project! With all due respect, those achievements are more impressive than launching YouTube. I would like to see more bright, enlightened civil servants at Reboot. The techies need to know that there are other interesting people out there besides themselves. Self-referentiality is a poison on both sides.” The question of the role of government and governance surfaced in many different forms. One underlying idea that permeated several discussions was that government should focus on creating a simple, reliable and publicly accessible infrastructure that "exposes" the underlying data. In other words, the government should Workshop report: Future-building for Wikicrats, Reboot11, June 25-26 2009, Copenhagen 10
  11. 11. Aidanmedia become a data platform, exposing their vast amounts of data to the public -- i.e., via API -- and let the private sector mash it up to make helpful services for people: such as http://www.policymap.com/. Alberto Cottica on the other hand pointed out the risks of having American companies as infrastructure of public services 2.0 from his experiences of what happened with the Kublai community (funded and run by the Italian Ministry of economic development) when their service provider suddenly changed the terms of service. Robin Chase brought up a similar experience with Facebook suddenly changing the rules of the game when her latest social transport project, Go Loco, went live on the Facebook platform. The demand for transparency and easy access to government data it seems is a shared value in the Reboot Community; “Open the structure of law/regulation making – make it open and transparent...we are already seeing examples of where this is successful in journalism: http://www.niemanlab.org/2009/06/four- crowdsourcing-lessons-from-the-guardians-spectacular-expenses-scandal-experiment/” “ we need to have citizen involvement through the whole process, see review of power of information task-force report, see stimuluswatch.org, or egov20.wordpress.com” “Enable. www.wecollaborate.org- From attitude to action. Put the tool to work in contexts relevant to average people.” “It’s not a matter of ideas, it’s about doing and how it’s done. The ‘how’ is the ‘what’. Inviting to give ideas is an illusionary participation system. How to implement?” Discussions tied to brainstorming sessions After an initial discussion tied to the “expert” presentations, we decided to make use of a structured ideation methodology in order to generate actionable ideas as the discussion was being dominated by one participant. We started by asking each workshop participant to contribute three ideas for change based on their Reboot experience, and write each one on a post-it. All the submitted post-its were read out aloud and placed on a board. In the next round they were clustered into groups, giving rise to tag cloud-like formations. The act of determining where a post-it should be placed served as a trigger in generating many interesting discussions, telling of anecdotes, and sharing of examples. It also made the contributors of the ideas elaborate on their thoughts and gave them the opportunity to receive feedback, questions for further clarification which in itself proved to be a useful exercise: it brought to light how important the differences in language use and terminology is in engaging people outside the culture of public administration in important policy discussions. For example Gohar Sargasyan´s use of the word “infrastructure” set out a keen 10 minute discussion in the group. Every time a formulation was deemed ambiguous, the author was asked to re-write it. Workshop report: Future-building for Wikicrats, Reboot11, June 25-26 2009, Copenhagen 11
  12. 12. Aidanmedia Though these discussions were lengthy and generated much frustration, it seems there was a consensus about their importance as people stayed involved and engaged in the workshop. Apparently they were engaging and accessible enough to get the attention of people who happened to be nearby - new participants spontaneously joined the workshop and made contributions to it. After more discussion and moving around of post-its four themes emerged. For each theme I have reported the content of the post-its in its tag cloud. THEME 1 - Creating a new culture of Government: Post-its tag cloud: Translating government culture into net culture and vice versa, less rules and more rights, finding a common language, strategic policy making, Internet governance, better rules for government procurement of technology, open standards and open platforms methodology, bring the Reboot spirit and energy to Brussels, Better processes for government investment into IT. Example ideas: • invest in putting a 2.0 public infrastructure in place • “Brunch with Brussels”: build on the success of the experiment at Reboot with regular informal meetings between civil servants and members of general public in a “safe” environment. • create a directory of Reboot-minded civil servants, to act as a communication channel between the public sector and the techies. THEME 2 - Transparency and how to get it: Post-its tag cloud: Mapping out power structures, more informed decisions, publish user feedback of publicly funded projects, promote information on law regarding internet in the EU states, open APIs between government services such as tax services and bank services etc., open up public data sets, make peaceful attempts to get local government to publish data. Example ideas: • Deploy a small, test project where processes of design, implementation and evaluation of calls for projects and project-funding applications are crowd-sourced and social-network based. • Engage civil servants in pushing for change from centralised IT structures. THEME 3: Citizen engagement/ Inspiration and sharing of best practices: Post-its tag cloud: create debate on technology, attract talents with challenges, figure out how to engage innovators and make the system work for them, adopt a politician or civil servant and get him into the conversation, collective action, find rewards for openness, gather stories about people and personal insights based on experience, , (investigate) how to be representative of users, larger public ownership of policy decisions Example ideas: • “Adopt a civil servant” program for advanced web users to bring civil servants knowledge and use of various technologies up to date. THEME 4 - Incentives: Workshop report: Future-building for Wikicrats, Reboot11, June 25-26 2009, Copenhagen 12
  13. 13. Aidanmedia Post-its tag cloud: Accountability on results not procedures, open up the pre-selection of projects to be funded by government, create new business models for politics, invest money in good ideas, find win win--> why change?, if a government is ineffective or slow...what can we do about it? will private companies be more effective and if so why?, the cult of done to deliver (close the loop of projects). Example ideas: • Create social incentive structures for engagement, participation and exemplary performance amongst civil servants and members of the general public “citizens” in everyday life and work. • Invest in finding new business models for political engagement Results Both objective and subjective indicators such as feedback from the participants lead to the conclusion that the workshop went well. After running the workshop it seems safe to say that yes, there is a very clear agreement that “bridging the gap” (David Osimo) between net culture and public administration culture is needed and yes, people are indeed willing to participate. Participants offered several suggestions for ways in which this could be done. Suggestions tended to be framed as projects to be deployed by groups of civil servants and hackers. By way of example: someone proposed creating a directory of Reboot-minded civil servants. We even got as far as actually designing and programming an interactive form to launch the initiative (with the help of students from CIID and Fredrik Smedberg) : https://secure.cute.se/reboot/ The workshop proposal, “Future-building for Wikicrats” was amongst the top 10 most voted for proposals out of the 188 submitted for this year´s event. The overall number of participants in the Wikicrats sessions was around 50 persons in total. On average there were between 10 AND 25 participants in the Wikicrats sessions at any one time. It was given three slots in the official program schedule (which is exceptional). Thomas Madsen- Mygdahl, the organiser of Reboot, offered access to the Reboot mailing list for one of the proposals to come out of the workshop sessions. An article about the Wikicrats workshop and initiative is being published in the Reboot Book. The conversations generated are still ongoing after the workshop both through the mailing list I set up, and through blog posts by Wikicrats workshop participants and comments left by their readers. A few excerpts; HACKER CULTURE AND PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION CULTURE: A FREE SPACE FOR COMING TOGETHER From Reboot, besides a healthy immersion in the web’s countercultural matrix, I brought back good news: it can be done. The gap between the culture of the European Commission, that designs policy technology in this continent, and that of the producers and advanced users of technology can actually be bridged. I think so because the Reboot community, which kind of stands for the most hack-tivist and tech-savvy part of society, showed a clear interest for Wikicrats, the “European” session on technology policy designed by Nadia El-Imam and Bror Salmelin: participation was strong and very diverse. The session produced many interesting comments and at least one good idea, building a resource list of civil servants that share - or at least are friendly to - the Reboot Culture... Workshop report: Future-building for Wikicrats, Reboot11, June 25-26 2009, Copenhagen 13
  14. 14. Aidanmedia REBOOT11 FOLLOW-UP: A FRESH LOOK AT EU POLICIES My first time at reboot, and I really enjoyed it. At the beginning I felt there was too much hot air, but then I really liked the design and inspiration that the overall discussion gave me. I particularly enjoyed the mix of non-technical talk, and technical hands-on workshops. Overall very inspiring especially as a way to organize conferences: incredible how interesting workshop were added on the same day. I loved the light management touch applied to it, and hope to apply it elsewhere. In particular, it was important to get confirmation on the importance of design skills in today complex world. Anyway, the real reason I was there, was to discuss in a workshop set up by the EC and Nadia on the future of EU ICT policies. We all recognized the problem: the ICT innovation policies are SO FAR from ICT innovation practice. We need to get them closer, to bridge the gap... LET THE HORSES RUN FREELY At Reboot11, joining the discussion after the talks in the workshop “future building for Wikicrats” (organised by Nadia El Imam) and discussions after other things are merging as well and the past days I seem to be talking about nothing else... Workshop report: Future-building for Wikicrats, Reboot11, June 25-26 2009, Copenhagen 14
  15. 15. Where to go next Final recommendations: the need for an interface “In Wikicrats we had two very different, very interesting cultures trying to have a dialogue with each other. One is the hacker culture which spawned Reboot: a culture of sharing, meritocracy, radical transparency. The other is the culture of public administration, shared by the Commission and some participants: a culture of accountability, impartiality, equal access. Right now they are not talking to each other. Bridging the gap between them would be an invaluable contribution.” The workshop at Reboot was an experiment at getting people from two very different worlds engaged in a dialogue on future policy- modelling. This resonated with many presentations related to how we re-imagine citizenship and government in the age of participation, which took place at this year´s Reboot in contexts other than Wikicrats. Most highlighted the implications of whether the Internet is conceived as an Information source or as a platform for citizen participation on the outcome of attempts to engage citizens in government and policy-making. It is clear that in this context, netizens see the Internet as a platform for common action; they will not accept the role of people who partake in surveys alone. It is not enough to just tell people that there are European programmes out there - Rebooters can very well Google-search, click on links and download calls for submissions or read posted programme information. But they don´t. Why not? Because this material does not convey any genuine interest in engaging netizens on behalf of public administrations or governments, neither in content nor in form; it is clear that the appropriate interfaces are missing. These interfaces must consist of people and interaction loci; Wikicrats worked well because for duration of two days during Reboot and few weeks before it, there was interface. The interface consisted of myself, Bror Salmelin and our working together to design and implement the workshop at Reboot; and of Reboot itself, with its orientation towards knowledge sharing and its informal atmosphere. Of course, Wikicrats was only a small-scale experiment. A fully functioning interface needs to be persistent and to address the problem of interaction among the different agents. The interface needs to be persistent Interface building is an ongoing process, and the interface evolves as it is maintained over longer periods of time, gaining effectiveness as people move from getting to know each other to actually contributing. An occasional one-shot attempt at interaction is both costly and ineffective at building and maintaining trust and engagement. Report by Nadia EL-Imam :www.linkedin.com/nadiaelimam.com Emailt: nnegash@gmail.com Skype: niasan
  16. 16. Aidanmedia Phases of development of a community Time CONNECTING HANGING OUT HELPING OUT The interface as an interaction design problem The “coming together” of the public administration culture and the hacker culture can be framed as an interaction design problem. For example, the Reboot workshop highlighted the need for “safe spaces”, contexts in which civil servants feel they have permission to interact and engage in common action with interested citizens as individuals, as opposed to representatives of large impersonal institutions. No safe space, no interaction, no result. Interaction design decisions contributed to shaping the Reboot workshop. In particular: • the experts were selected so as to achieve a finely tuned mix between net-literate civil servants/public sector consultants and technology makers/users interested in (and generally sympathetic to) policy making. Diverse enough to propitiate out- of-the-box thinking, not too much to ensure good communication. • a high level of attention was given to organisation and administrative details, from centralising hotel-booking to give experts a chance to informally hang out together to speeding up reimbursement of expenses (thanks Anni!), in order to convey the message that the experts’ input is valued • the Reboot context, with its high energy and “creative chaos” rhetoric, encouraged participants to “go with the flow” and interact more or less freely across cultural barriers Final recommendation Given the overwhelmingly positive response at Reboot, I would recommend that the European Commission attempts to unlock the potential in bridging the gap between the two cultures in Wikicrats by building an interface between them. However, successfully designing and delivering such an interface means addressing a number of nontrivial interaction design problems. What is the appropriate mix of online vs. offline interaction? Should the interface try to group people who live and work in the same place or those interested in the same issue, Europe-wide? Should offline meetings be spread (seminar series) or concentrated (yearly conference)? Should they be stand-alone events or piggyback on existing conferences and meetups? And which ones? And, most important of all: what is the appropriate mix of debate and action taken jointly by civil servants and hackers, given that common action was strongly called for in Wikicrats? I strongly recommend that these problems are addressed explicitly, with a interaction design approach, in the planning stage of any further move. Failure to do so might lead to ineffective action. It would probably make sense to start out with a small-scale, pilot activity to reduce the cost of failure as the interaction design learning curve is climbed. By way of example Workshop report: Future-building for Wikicrats, Reboot11, June 25-26 2009, Copenhagen 16
  17. 17. Aidanmedia There are several ways that pilot activities could be rolled out. Two examples are sketched below - many more can be thought of. 1. “More of Wikicrats, but better”: • Further develop and expand the Wikicrats concept as a series of regularly occurring participatory and web-enabled face-to-face events that brings together citizens, policy-makers, technologists, design-thinkers, change agents and media creators. • Future Initiatives should include building on the success of the Reboot initiative by deploying workshops that piggy- back on existing events as well as stand-alone events, on a regular basis. • In addition to further developing and improving workshop formats, it is clear that people require a plausible (and attractive) promise to be made explicitly if we are to elicit their participation. For example, one of the realities of running a workshop at events such as Reboot, where people are investing personal time and funds in order to attend is that there is an opportunity cost attached to participating in our workshops i.e missing other interesting ongoing sessions. A significant attraction of the Wikicrats workshop lay in the line-up of expert presenters from various backgrounds to whom participants could listen. A few of the experts had presentations styles that catered to more formal “death by powerpoint” cultures than the one at Reboot and could have benefited from coaching ahead of the event; We could significantly increase the traction of the workshops if we invest in bootstrapping expert presentations to match the presentation culture of the events at which workshops are held. • Another valuable improvement would be to invest some resources ( time and code) into finding and aggregating the on-line presences of participants and people who express interest in participating in Wikicrats workshops in a manner that makes it easier for us to connect with them and them to connect with one another. One idea for how to do this is by way of a search agent; You would provide such a search agent with your own account data of all the environments you are part of that you want to have searched. And then it comes back with a number of likely search results that might contain any or all of the following for instance: • Possible blogs of that person • Possible Flickr Feed, or 23 feed • Possible Skypename • Profile in OpenBc.com • Profile in LinkedIn.com • Profile at 43people.com • Possible Plazes account • Possible del.icio.us account 2. Common action: • Launch small initiatives where people from hacker communities and civil servants can work together on small actionable projects. The notion of participation tat hackers have calls for common action, on the other hand the cultures of hackers and civil servants are very different, so the projects must be handled with care, led by very credible people, etc. Workshop report: Future-building for Wikicrats, Reboot11, June 25-26 2009, Copenhagen 17

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