March 11, 2009
The Pep-NET, the Pan-European E-participation Network is holding it’s online discussion-forum on the recently published eparticipation survey at www.internet-discourse.eu.
Do you know, what experts are saying? Just come, and visit this life forum of researchers and practicioners to grasp the scent of hot air around participatory culture of different actors in this field!
I am copying one of my submissions to the forum:
I think, chaos and fractal approach to understand something, which is beyond or normal notions, which is a process, which might not be seen easily by language and hides below the different directions..not an easy approach. Irina somehow suggest this.
We have to ask, what do we want to do with e-participation? I try to get closer.
What is our responsibility when setting directions or the future?
Crisis ethics and values.
Clear aims, means, that we have to realize, that people of Europe needs support to change the dinamics of their politics. There has been a debate on the local-global issue. We have to support with insturments people at local levels- why? Because that is the primarly field of interacting with politics – and you have a much better chance to experiance success, to give the first learning experiance, before moving to the big global issues. The EC has to understand – that it’s position should not be for the benefit (only) for the institution itself.
There must not be a debate on do we need change in e-particiaption policy, I suggest. Our democracies mostly having serious injuries by our higher politician levels, which has opened space for the lack, or weak regluation on lower levels – this is also the source of the political crisis. I say political, because the ciris partly about the policy of financial (un)regulations.
Since, there is no real transparency in the EC– there is no real basic for serious e-participation initiated from the higher end.
There is the lack of trust.
How to trust in an institution, which does not fulfill the minimum requirements of good governance ie.: transparency?
Did you asked, how should be an ideal pre-e-participatory state look like? What are the needed pre-existing factors, that builds the basic trust?
Without better transparency, we are just playing a game, without a real prize..
Change perspective. Change your position.
We need to look at around our house:
Do we follow the best model to develop e-participation supporting insturments (softwares, training, interrela.tions, networks)?
I do think not! We are following the web0.1 way!
The benefit of all this way can not take place, nor the working of the suitable models.
There is no place for that from the policy, governance side yet. E-participation programmes supported by the Comission are giving a lot for some – but leaves untouchable the most part of the interested parties!
And most of them are those, who really needs help, to repaire, heal their democracies!
This is important, how to understand and balance the interest, and create conditions in relation to this. – this is the responsibility of the Comission. But can we blame companies participating in e-participation support programmes, with their false models and un-social friendly expectations?
I think, maybe not. But we have to ask questions from them and from the Comission.
What is the suitable model, for financing and delivering public policy, or democracy building applications, programmes?
How do you categorize it, if you think as a need in the society, and as an application?
What kind of model, what kind of spreading policy would you use for development and sharing?
Community planning, open source and non-commercial, public for all!
Obvious isn’t it?! There must not be any voices around the competence of the companies! This is more a social issue! Not a business one. And this is a real danger, when we think about e-participation, that we automatically put this just behind e-government and not participation.
How important is the sharing factor? One of the most important. Since, if we look at our aims- we are sharing tools-approaches, training programmes, that can help self-reparation of the illness parts of the society! And of course create new sicknesses, but there should not be doubt, that this will go along.
In the close future, there must be a minumum set of standards for e-participation projects. Strong, strict and ciris friendly, standards that support sharing, collabiorative aim creation agenda setting. In this programme European Governacne Culture can show, what is the future about. Ther is not itme to wait more.
There is no time and money to waste more on research and useless dissemniation of propriatery, closed source code and small, institution closed programmes!
It is time to chnage policy, dear leaders. It is time to set clear aims and to put the political will to work for the better strategic, more consciousness behaviour – for the real benefit of the society.
You still have some balls on your side. But the time is running fast, and the possibility of initiating real change can fly away easily…
I wish you all the best I can.
Otherwise, politics has to count with dangers. Some recommendations to avoide them.
Soon, more and more people will ask, when realizing the vividnes of e-participation: hey, we are doing this, why don’t you support us? We know, how technology works, why do you behave, that you don’t know how does it working? Why are you so blind, that you don’t see the thousends of volunteers around the net, Europe and beyond, waiting for engagement?
Why don’t you trust us? If you don’t trust, how can you trust in e-participation?
Trust in traditional supplier companies has change – their role has to change. Instead of fulfilling minimum requirements, they must(!) adopt a social responsible attitude!
All the e-participation development issue shoud be undertaken in a social enterpreneur spirit, because this is primarly a social advanture – not a political, and not a technological, and must not be a business one. To have better social life, we need both (tech and policy) to work for the society. These are tools.
But they must not govern us!