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Network democracy and new forms of citizen participation

Organised on the 18th of April 2016, in Rome, Italy, the Network democracy and new forms of citizen participation event will gather politicians, activists, researchers and academics, civil society organizations, developers and hackers to discuss the future of direct democracy and citizen participation.

It will explore innovative methods and digital tools to strengthen large scale citizen participation in the political process at European level. We will also debate public policies at the municipal, national and European level to transform democratic participation and promote transparency to fight corruption and concentration of power within public institutions.

The debate starts from the assumption that our political institutions are in dire need of being updated as they are out of sync with 21st century technologies, standards and collective aspirations of citizenship. Democratic institutions have not been able to respond and adapt to new instances of participation, transparency and proximity brought by big grassroots democratic movements. This is well represented by the emergence of new citizen-led political movements that are challenging the institutional landscape as Podemos and M5S and that are bringing the quetion of radical democracy and transparency at the core of the political debate.

The crisis of political representation and legitimacy of existing institutions, the ongoing corruption scandals that reveal the complicity of the major political parties with the private interest of banks and multinationals, and the disaffection of the public with respect to politics can be transformed by formulating new democratic practices that transfer power to the people and use new technology to revolutionize democracy.

The programme includes three panels:

-          Network democracy and new citizen movements

-          New forms of direct democracy and citizen participation in the Digital Age

-          Opening the political institutions against corruption

In the afternoon, we run workshops that dive into digital platforms and tools for direct democracy; and public policy, transparency and international networks for direct democracy.

The speakers include, among others, Luigi Di Maio (M5S, Vice President Chambers of Deputies Italy), Alessandro Di Battista (Member of Italian chambers of deputies M5S), Bruno Kaufmann (Democracy International), Isabella Adinolfi (Member of European Parliament, M5S Europe), Yago Bermejo Abati (Labodemo Madrid and Decide Madrid, City of Madrid), Renata Avila (World Wide Web Foundation), and Miguel Ongil (Podemos).

From the D-CENT team, we have several people participating as well: Francesca Bria (Nesta), Arnau Monterde (Decidim Barcelona, City of Barcelona), Joonas Pekkanen (City of Helsinki, Forum Virium Helsinki), Birgitta Jónsdóttir (chairman of parliamentary party group Iceland, chairman of the board for IMMI), Denis “Jaromil” Roio (Dyne.org), and Guðjón Idir (IMMI, Your Priorities).

Detailed programme and registration: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/network-democracy-and-new-forms-of-citizen-participation-tickets-22887538243

The event is bi-lingual with simultaneus translation from English to Italian. It is organised by D-CENT in co-operation with the Five Star Movement in Italy.