Open democracy requires transparency, participation and collaboration

des 7 2015 in by Hróbjartur Árnason

Gestapóstur frá Taru Kekkonen, en hún mun leiða umræður um stafrænt lýðræði á ráðstefnunni Kennum þeim að læra


NVL Distans has been curious about new forms of participation and democracy. We have been asking us questions such as: What is open democracy? Does such a thing as digital democracy exist? Do digital tools and competencies open any new possibilities for participation and democracy? What are the hindrances for new forms of participation?

A motivated citizen is the best expert in his own cause. That is why each citizen should have the opportunity to take part in decision making processes which touch on his or her life. Don’t you agree? Nevertheless, decisions are still often made in systems that hardly anyone but authorities and politicians have access to.

Physical or geographical distances should no longer be a hindrance to shared decision making. Now the challenge is rather to find a time slot in our calendars that suits everyone. Online tools can be organized in such ways that people can participate independent of time and place, and can thus provide a solution to this problem.

There is an abundance of tools and practices for participation. But there is no single way for getting everybody involved. All tools and methods can in one way or another exclude some people, and that is why it might not be a good idea to speak about either physical or digital but rather as well physical as digital.

Thanks to the Internet, individual citizens have today better possibilities than maybe ever befor to have their voice and opinion heard. We therefore need to ask ourselves: “Are we using that opportunity effectively?” “Do we know how to really participate and affect decision making?” “Are we helping the ones who don’t have the digital skills to do so? Whose task and duty is it to help them?

In a project called Dldact we collected cases from each Nordic country dealing with these themes: Digital Learning, Democracy, Active Citizenship and Transparency.  Cases are introduced in the project blog

I look forward to discussing how digital media can support one of the worlds oldest democracies develop and bring the power of the people to the next stage.

Gestapóstur frá Taru Kekkonen, en hún mun leiða umræður um stafrænt lýðræði á ráðstefnunni „Kennum þeim að læra