Engaging Times 2017

Executive Director at
Nov. 3, 2017

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Engaging Times 2017

  1. Engaging Times Steven Clift – @democracy Slides:
  2. Breaking the ice … “I believe in people”
  3. I also believe in cats … see second video for context.
  4. 1994 – I woke up hearing my name on the radio … World’s 1st election information website E-debate, citizen forum online
  5. Government by day… Citizen by night
  6. Global media attention A new Athens of democracy??! Media over-hype.
  7. 20 Years, 8 Lessons
  8. Then 2016 happened
  9. 2003 Prediction – Democratic Evolution or Virtual Civil War “Those hoping for an almost accidental democratic transformation fostered by the information technology will watch in shock from the sidelines as their favorite new medium becomes the arsenal of virtual civil war — virtual civil wars among partisans at all levels.”
  10. Challenges – Post 2016 Super Storm • President Trump, Twitter impact • Social media becomes political media • Protest echo chambers – Like minds isolated connections • Anti-democratic intent • “Fake News” v. opinion • State sponsored digital disinformation • Facebook ad targeting into amazing sharing engine
  11. Back to the positive lessons … For those who seek to make democracy better. Join the evolution!
  12. 1. About People
  13. Social Media – Private Life First … about “Public Life” second Relevance, necessity key
  14. 2. Power
  15. Defining “e-democracy” ● Politics as usual goes online, takes 15 years to figure it out … now going negative ● Citizens in center with many to many engagement Political Groups Private SectorGovernment Media and Commercial Content “E-Citizen” Social Media Center
  16. Presidential E-Campaign 2008 (Early)
  17. 3. Agenda- Setting/Sharing
  18. Sharing power – People to people Social media today: FB News Feeds, Hashtags
  19. Agenda-setting • Citizen to citizen engagement forming new public opinion • Blogging, then Facebook/Twitter/ YouTube, influencing mass media • Problems with 24 hour “political spin” cycle online/cable TV news • E-Advocacy/E-Politics resources
  20. Tweeter in Chief
  21. #blacklivesmatter #hashtag fueled urgent news and protest info sharing Good Fight podcast
  22. Started at 9 years old …
  23. 4. Democracy Matters
  24. Democracy Matters • Bring “democratic intent” forward for real change • Marketing v. engagement tension • Governance that can … listen, engage, and respond … people working together
  25. Listen? Respect?
  26. Democratic Goals Strategies 1. Public Trust and Transparency: 2. Accountability: 3. Better Decisions: 4. Effective Programs: 1. Information Access 2. Budget/Spending Data 3. Digital Public Engagement 4. Knowledge Exchange with Online Groups
  27. Voting and elections
  28. E-Petitions, FOI
  29. 5. Information – Timely Notification
  30. Personalized Information Dissemination “Give Notice – Timely notification of new government information and meetings is empowering.” Source: My blog post on WhiteHouse.Gov, 2013
  31. Enhancing Legislative Information
  32. Open Government Partnership
  33. 6. Local Matters
  34. Problem • Online public engagement disconnected from place • Representative democracy and participatory democracy based on place – geography matters!
  35. Facebook-Native Local Politicians ● Minneapolis Councillors asking questions, directly engaging, case study
  36. 7. Groups
  37. Online groups and place • Freedom of assembly online – Place + online groups = powerful impact in real democracy, in real community • “The most democratizing aspect of the Internet is the ability of people to organize and communicate in groups.” Steven Clift in “Democracy is Online” article published by Internet Society, 1998
  38. Facebook Groups - Activism
  39. My Neighborhood Standish and Ericsson Neighborhood, Minneapolis About 10,000 residents - Small homes, big hearts Shared online “Neighbors Forum” for 8 years 1400 members, ~30% households Survey shows +7% in freq. civic activities online in Edem hoods, more “All politics is local.” – Tip O’Neill, former US House Speaker
  40. City Hall In-person Conversations Shared on Facebook Your Networks Local Media Y o u Local Biz Neighbor#1 Local Online Groups Join Group Online public space in “real” community
  41. Why do local online spaces strengthen representative democracy? Elected officials: •“They are my voters.”
  42. 8. Engage Inclusively
  43. Raising New Voices? US-wide numbers show divide Source: PewInternet
  44. E-Democracy’s New Voices Slides Video More Just Ask? Yes.
  45. With, not for
  46. 9. Opportunities
  47. Opportunities 1. What Works Digital Groups 2. Civic Local Online Spaces Everywhere 3. Close Democratic Data Deficit 4. “Get Friendly” with Politicians 5. Facebook’s Building Global Community Manifesto
  48. What Works Future Idea: Community Solutions Exchange - Online groups network for active citizens to exchange “what works” lessons and motivation on the top 20+ local public challenges facing every community. Broader democracy builders.
  49. CivicTech OpenGov Facebook Group Join 7,000+ members from 150+ nations Sharing daily:
  50. Local Civic Facebook Groups • Downtown St. Paul Pilot • Spreading “civic” leadership idea • Local Slovenia?
  51. Democratic Open Data Deficit ● Stronger o Budget and spending o National politician info o Politicized accountability o Who can I vote for? Where? ● Weaker o Transparency for engagement o Public meetings o Local democracy o Timely notice ● Projects to Watch o Open Civic Data o EveryPolitician (mySociety) o Google Civic API o OpenStates o Free Law Founders o Councilmatic o Ctr for Tech and Civic Life
  52. Conclusion
  53. Let’s be the Engagement Generation. Let’s build it local everywhere. Together.
  54. Thanks! @democracy +1-612-234-7072 - M
  55. Today’s work, Ask me about … • Digital Engagement Consultant – How can I help you? • – Leader… mySociety/ outreach • – Android app small start-up company
  56. Slides I took out for length For dozens more recent slides, see my June 2015 slide collection used in Taiwan and the Philippines Extra Slides
  57. Trends I see … • Accelerate • Amplify • Assembly • If direction was already negative … what can we do?
  58. Big Challenges 2015 • Loudest voices, conflict • Filtered for similarity, not diversity • Continuous evolution in commercial services • Loss of control to reach more people where they are online
  59. Big Challenges 2017 • Virtual civil war • Sharing false information • Partisan divide • Digital to offline organizing • Political social media depression • Leveraging Facebook’s community push • Need for positive democratic intent investment • Opportunity to connect democracy builders needs action
  60. Digital connecting with dem. intent • Local online spaces everywhere across multiple platforms – Need improved discovery, connecting leaders, joint promotion • Connect people/govs/civsoc by topics/projects globally ACROSS local communities – bring “what works” home - Beyond, but building on the Twitter hashtag
  61. Get Friendly Campaign? • With 10,000+ local elected representatives across Taiwan, what would it take for 200 people within each local district to friend their representative(s) on Facebook?
  62. Solution: Digital town square via local online groups With democratic intent’s Neighborhoods today – up to 30% of households – more Lessons apply to Facebook Groups et al today.
  63. “Made for Internet” Candidate Governor Ventura 1998-2002 Citizen E-Forums Pro Wrestler
  64. Who We Are's mission: Harness the power of online tools to support participation in public life, strengthen communities, and build democracy. Creating online spaces for civic engagement since 1994.
  65. Open Gov Data “demand” from technical public, government has supply