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The Rise of Digital Media Platforms. Upholding the Smart City? argues that the development of networks to listen, interact, and put in touch people and firms with policies pose new challenges and opportunities for the social sciences. My analysis relies on the comparative method, in order to understand the specificities of the different cases. The work outlines novel changes in the ways of interaction among stakeholders, policy makers and eventual policies. The new forms of interaction between the political level and society through active listening are analyzed by focusing on the following aspects: 1) The paradigm shift and practical examples 2) the focus on rethinking politics with citizens through active listening; 3) limitations of these listening platforms; and 4) lessons for our applied research backpack.
Findings show that networks are allowing new and growing business opportunities. Networks are also allowing new opportunities to create value for citizens and social groups that were previously excluded from the use of goods and also services. From a philosophical and normative level these networks also imply new capacities to change the mode of interaction between the State and society. Findings also show two challenges to tackle: 1) the first is how to communicate the changes and reach all social groups. 2) The second challenge is how to benefit the whole society.