Since 2004 Personal Democracy Forum in New York has been an exceptional opportunity for representatives of NGOs, public administration, activists and journalists to discuss how technology affects politics, government and civic life. The annual conference PDF Poland-Central Eastern Europe, organised in Warsaw since 2013, has become the biggest European event devoted to technology, democracy and civic engagement providing space of debate for participants from more than 25 countries.
This year, experts and practitioners from all over the world will focus on the ways radical narratives, particularly prominent in the Internet, lead to ideological divisions and mistrust towards the authorities; they will analyse various scenarios of reconnecting citizens in order to find new methods and standards serving objectivism of views’ presentation, media neutrality and fostering an effective social dialogue.
On March 17-18, participants from whole Europe from Balkans to Caucasus together with partners from US and guests from other continents will gather in Gdańsk, the cradle of democratic movements, to share their experiences and present solutions designed to reunite citizens in the desire to fight invidious stereotypes and employ the Internet as a tool of building the new information society.
Day 1 – Conference Day
On the first day, more than 30 invited experts representing NGOs, public administration, technological institutions will formulate their diagnoses regarding the role of the Internet in dis/reconnecting citizens, share their practices and come up with innovative solutions in the field of building democratic information society. We will have a pleasure to learn from specialists from the whole world.
Day 2 – Community Day
The second day of PDF will be devoted to community-organised sessions gathering NGOs, public institutions, citizens, activists and the media to debate on the themes of the conference and work out practical solutions in the form of individual talks, demos group presentations, panels or open sessions. The Community Day will offer the total of 15 organised 50-minute sessions in three parallel blocks, with an additional “chill-out” room open to spontaneous working groups and networking.
At Personal Democracy Forum Ukraine the participants spoke to both local and global problems and network democratic solutions together.
It all started with a statement that democracy doesn’t just happen. It is a matter of values and a contract between all the society members and institutional or corporate actors. To build it, sustain it and let it evolve societies need a social infrastructure. The war in Ukraine, the refugee crisis, corruption and surveillance – democracy can’t be taken for granted. It is never “done”, it is a process. Technology can help facilitate it, but it isn’t an answer. As one of the youngest democracies in Europe, Ukraine can be a pioneer of using technologies for democracy building, but in many cases there is no need to reinvent the wheel.
The event was hosted by Nataliya Gumenyuk from Hromadske UA (Ukraine) and Jakub Górnicki from ePaństwo Foundation (Poland) and it involved participation of speakers from Netherlands, Croatia, Poland, Greece, Turkey, Ukraine and United Kingdom.
TransparenCEE community met in Georgia for the very first time for one day of groundbreaking talks, workshops, and networking opportunities. Together they discovered power behind technology in civic actions and the increasing impact of technology tools, but also discussed the challenges that technology brings into activism. All with special regards to CEE perspective and community of civic tech.
The keynote speakers were Frank Kresin and David Lee. Frank is a Research Director at Waag Society, Institute for Arts, Science and Technology in Amsterdam. In the beginning of a meetup Frank inspired the participants with #civictech and his story about smart cities and smart citizens. David – the President of Magticom, the largest Telecommunications Company in Georgia, had a speech which summed up the whole event and he motivated the community to work on transparency and accountability in the region.
Apart from that, the participants had the opportunity to listen to 6 short project presentations (about local budgets in Georgia, Red Flags project, Conflict of interest project, JumpStart, OCCRP’s work and also about fact checking approach and the plugin for browser) and join two workshops which interested them the most.