Network Mapping the Ecosystem. Marc Smith | #PDF15 Theme Imagine All the People: The Future of Civic Tech
Imagine All the People: The Future of Civic Tech, la conferencia titulada "Network Mapping the Ecosystem" de Marc Smith
One of the enduring values of the Personal Democracy community is the belief that people using the Internet and other connection technologies can make civic participation easier and more effective. Not only that, we think that activism and community action enabled by tech can involve much more than the "thin" kinds of engagement that are so prevalent today in the advocacy sector. Tech can enable much deeper kinds of connections between people, communities and those with power, and make everyday life better for people in the process. At scale.
That, in just a few words, is the essence of today's civic tech movement. It includes any tool or process that people may use to help themselves solve their own problems, influence people with the power to help them, change who is in charge of decisions, or alter the ways that government works. Think of organizing platforms like NationBuilder or Change.org; community platforms like SeeClickFix, Front Porch Forum or NextDoor; political engagement platforms like PopVox or DemocracyOS; community service platforms like AuntBertha.com or OpenReferral.org; government reinvention efforts like the United States Digital Service, 18F and Code for America; and the whole myriad of problem-solving innovations that civic hackers are making using free open data and low-cost hardware.
Tech for civic good isn't a given, of course. Without an open and free Internet, accessible to all, it may just widen the economic divide. Built inside walled gardens or using digitally locked devices that prevent their users from truly mastering them, it may actually enhance the power of the already powerful. And without real connection to the communities it aims to serve, civic tech could just be a fancy marketing phrase and not a real force for change.
For all these reasons, the theme for this year's Personal Democracy Forum, our twelfth since 2004, is "Imagine All The People: The Future of Civic Tech." We want to take you into a future where everyone is participating, a future that we build together using technology appropriately, powering solutions to shared civic problems. The future is what we make it; at this year's PDF we'll gather to hear from the people who are making civic tech that genuinely matters, and fighting to ensure that everyone gets to benefit.