Four years ago, we gathered to share thoughts about the role technology could take in reshaping democracy. After creating open source social software to help the Dean campaign. After Gov. Dean lost the primary, we shared thoughts on what worked...

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"Extreme Democracy" - 5 new articles

  1. Building a Bridge to 18th Century Democracy
  2. Join extdemo discussion group
  3. What's Next?
  4. Extreme Democracy Discussion Series
  5. Information, Values & Democratic Tools and Processes
  6. More Recent Articles

Building a Bridge to 18th Century Democracy

Four years ago, we gathered to share thoughts about the role technology could take in reshaping democracy. After creating open source social software to help the Dean campaign. After Gov. Dean lost the primary, we shared thoughts on what worked and what didn’t.

As I write this, we are in the final hours of another election cycle. Soon, we will be talking about the role of technology in the Obama campaign. The campaign has made tremendous use of social technology to raise money, get its message out and motivate volunteers. The extent of the impact is likely to be argued extensively over the coming days. Yet there is a larger question, what affect has all of this had on the basic fabric of democracy and of our daily lives?

I must admit, I have not been as intimately involved with the Obama campaign as I was with the Dean campaign, so it may be that what I haven’t seen in this election cycle was there and I just missed it, but it seems like there were a few things that were missing that worry me.

The first is what I like to call the invitation to innovate. There was not the same imperative to innovate for the Obama campaign as there was for the Dean campaign. Many of the social network tools that we sought to create five years ago are done much better with off the shelf tools of today. I would go so far as to suggest that the use of social media far surpassed what we dreamt of five years ago. This time, the innovators have gotten lost in the crowd of early adopters and the early majority.

The second thing that I missed in this election cycle was the breathless theoreticians. Perhaps somewhere, someone was talking about whether or not the Obama campaign can bring about a Habermasian Public Sphere. A few different groups talked about publicly drafting policy, but like similar discussions in 2003 and 2004, this hasn’t seemed to get very far.

Now, grassroots organizations are talking about retooling, about how they can keep everyone that got energized by the Obama campaign involved. Will we see a real move towards a more open government? Will we see progress in eGovernance? Will we learn from those who came before us, and use technology, not only for fundraising and volunteer recruitment, but also to create a new Public Sphere?

Will we use technology to build a bridge to 18th Century Democracy?

    

Join extdemo discussion group

extdemo is a discussion group of the Central Texas Chapter of the World Future Society, Texas Forums and Extreme Democracy focused on the book "Extreme Democracy" and its further development.

Click here to join.

    

What's Next?

What's next for the extreme democracy discussion group? go to Texas Forums' Wiki and enter your ideas. Then join in the discussion on Monday, October 1, 2007 in the Texas Forums OPAL room at 7 pm CDT to discuss.

    

Extreme Democracy Discussion Series

The Extreme Democracy Discussion Series was conducted almost every Monday evening from June 18, 2007 to September 17, 2007. The following are the set of discussion guides used in the discusion (when one existed). Recordings will be available in the future.

Framework for Extreme Democracy
Overview and History of Development of Extreme Democracy (interview)
Emergence, Emergent Democracy & the Emerging Second Super Power (no guide)
Extreme democracy (interview)
Networks
Politics and Networks
Strategy and Political Process
DeanSpace
6.4 Billion Points of Light (interview)
Activist Technology
Political Tools
Future of Democracy

    

Information, Values & Democratic Tools and Processes

In the discussion last night on Networks, I introduced the concept of a matrix of information and values. You can see this matrix by clicking on the link below:

Download file

The question I raised during the discussion was how do the tools and processes of extreme democracy map into this matrix?

    

More Recent Articles


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