Let’s Crowdsource the Future of Europe!
International Conference

How much do you think your opinion counts on the decisions of the European Union?
How can we influence our future?

On Tuesday May 9th, 10:00, SciFY - Science For You (www.scify.org), invites you to the international conference "Let’s Crowdsource the Future of Europe", at HIGGS (Viktoros Ougko 15, Athens) to evaluate "why, how and when" we can participate in the European Union's decision-making process. At a critical time for the EU, representatives of Civil Society from 6 EU countries will discuss the role citizens can play by using modern techniques (practices and methods) of crowdsourcing.

The purpose of the event is to gain insight as to how EU decisions are made and in what ways crowdsourcing will allow us to participate directly. During the workshop we will discuss the following questions:

  • Claiming our time: When is the time to speak?

The purpose of the panel is to set the issue of the stage (when) of the legislative process in the EU we can use crowdsourcing to intervene.

  • Claiming our space: On what should we intervene?

The purpose of the panel is to set the issue of the topics (where) that we should crowdsource and the local best practices that could be used on an EU level.

  • Doing it our way: How should we intervene?

The purpose of the panel is to set the issue of the tools and methodologies (how) that can enhance crowdsourcing in the EU legislative process.

The above questions will be answered through open discussions with representatives of civil society initiatives in Greece and 5 other European countries, political scientists, technology experts and through workshops where the participants will be invited to discuss how to co-shape the future of Europe. We will also share the experience that we already gained from similar events that took place in Ljubljana, London and Amsterdam.

10:00-10:30

Registrations

10:30-11:00

Cases presentations:

  • What is crowdsourcing?
  • Presentation of the process of drafting laws in the EU
  • Presentation of Best Practice

11:00-12:00

Discussion Panel:

1. Claiming our time - When is the time to speak? The purpose of the panel is to set the issue of the stage (when) of the legislative process in the EU should we crowdsource.

2. Claiming our space: On what should we intervene? The purpose of the panel is to set the issue of the topics (where) that we should crowdsource and the local best practices that can be used on an EU level.

3. Doing it our way: How should we intervene? The purpose of the panel is to set the issue of the tools and the methodologies (how) that can enhance the crowdsourcing in the legislative process in the EU.

12:00-12:30

Coffee Break

12:00 -13:00

Facilitated workshop (World Cafe)

  • Claiming our time
  • Claiming our space
  • Doing it our way

13:00-14:00

Lunch

14:00-14:15

Conclusion session

14:15-15:00

Networking session

 


Free Entrance ‐ Limited seats
Registrations: http://go.scify.gr/EUCROWDtickets
Certification of Attendance

Facebook Event: http://go.scify.gr/EUCROWDevent
Event Program: http://go.scify.gr/EUCROWDprogr
More info about the project: http://go.scify.gr/eucrowd

*The discussion will be held in English
The event is part of the EU project “European Citizens Crowdsourcing – EUCROWD” which has been funded with the support of the Europe for Citizens programme of the European Union. The event is supported by the New Technologies Laboratory in Communication, Education and Media of the University of Athens.
--
Contact Person:
Despoina Chalvatzi, Μ: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Τ:+30 6983047848, +30 211 400 4192
More info about SciFY: www.scify.org

EUCROWD

Friday, 10 February 2017

The Challenge

The majority of citizens doesn’t know how or they can’t find the reason to participate in the decision-making process relating to their country or the European Union. The result? 
  • Incomplete information for citizens
  • Alienation from the ideas and objectives of the EU
  • Generalized tensions between citizens of the countries - members
  • Indifference to the future of their country and EU
  • Indifference to make decisions that affect us

The Goal

Increase of participation of citizens in matters concerning their country and Europe.
Specifically, the project aims:

  • To inform and raise awareness among citizens about the ways in which they can participate in decision making,
  • To promote the concept of Active European Citizenship, 
  • To improve conditions for democratic participation of citizens in the European Union, 
  • To develop citizens' skills so they can participate properly and effectively in decision-making process,
  • To establish collaborative relationship between European citizens and those who make the decisions in the EU,
  • To understand the citizens of the policy-making processes in the EU, 
  • To develop a framework where people can contribute to shaping the Future of Europe through crowdsourcing techniques.

Actions

1. Organization of seven Conferences - Workshops throughout Europe to achieve the following objectives:

    • To reflect on the crowdsourcing and other e-participation experiences at national level by presenting case studies and lessons learned.
    • To discuss technological, societal, cultural, political challenges for citizens, organizers and decision-makers when they use crowdsourcing techniques for politics and policy.
    • To brainstorm a draft framework for an EU level pilot of crowdsourcing on the future of Europe.
    • To reflect on both the most suitable policies to be crowdsourced at EU level and the most appropriate e-participation tools to be used based on the national experience.
    • To identify and map influencers, supporters and promoters of crowdsourcing as an innovative, deliberative method of e-participation.

2. Desk research to collect data on how people utilize and exploit crowdsourcing for the purpose of an online repository (Knowledge Center for Digital Democracy). Repository will feature best practice cases, state-of-the-art knowledge and guidelines in citizens-crowdsourcing at the national and European level.

3. Analytical work for preparing policy recommendations on the EU perspective of crowdsourcing including the framework for the crowdsourcing pilot at the EU level based on conclusions from conferences and desk research findings on how (online) crowdsourcing can foster European citizenship, encourage participation of citizens at the Union level and support debate on the Future of Europe. The document will be presented and discussed with relevant EU decision-makers and interested stakeholders.

4. Stakeholders community building in the field of citizens crowdsourcing as part of strategic initiative of civil society organizations aiming to advocate and promote citizens oriented open government and digital democracy at the EU level.

The project is aimed at all citizens and the following groups:

  • Youth
  • Activists 
  • Academics 
  • Opinion Makers
  • Politicians
  • Media

Individuals and organizations of civil society dealing with:

  • Rights of citizens 
  • eDemocracy
  • Public issues 
  • Formulating policies at national and European level.

Partners

Organisation name Country
Institute for Electronic Participation (INePA) Slovenia
European Citizen Action Service (ECAS) Belgium
Stichting Netwerk Democratie Netherlands
Science For You (SciFY) Greece
ManaBalss.lv Latvia
Open Ministry Finland
Démocratie Ouverte France
The Democratic Society United Kingdom

 

Expected Results

  1. Improved awareness among project target groups, especially (young) European citizens and EU decision-makers, about the possibilities of using crowdsourcing as an innovative channel of e-participation in EU policy making-process.
  2. Publicly accessible an on-line repository (Knowledge centre on Digital Democracy) of international crowdsourcing practices and state-of-the-art knowledge of citizen-crowdsourcing at the national and European level.
  3. Policy recommendations based on national conferences discussions and best cases review on:
    • The most suitable policies to be crowdsourced at EU level
    • The most appropriate e-participation tools to be used in order to foster participation of citizens in debate on the Future of Europe
  4. Draft framework for an EU level pilot of crowdsourcing on the future of Europe will include the general structure, modalities and practical steps.
  5. Established community of practitioners and supporters including citizens, civil society and other stakeholders which have an interest in advocating and promoting the EU level crowdsourcing initiative as a part of the European open government and digital democracy development. 

The ultimate goal of this project is to create a sustainable group consisting of citizens and members of civil society which aims to support and promote citizens participation and electronic democracy at European level. 

Results

On Tuesday, 9th of May 2017 we hosted the International Conference: "Let's Crowdsource the Foture of Europe" in Athens and you can read the Final Report of the Athens Event here and ckeck the keypoints here: 

Finally, you can find project's results here or you can check the final reports here and here.   

Media

Presentation of DemocracIT (crowdsourcing tool) develoiped by SciFY at the 1st Eventfor EUCROWD Project, in Slovenia

 

Project website: www.inepa.si/eucrowd
Project social media: Twitter (@Razprave_EU), Facebook (European Citizens Crowdsourcing)
Project hashtag: #EUCROWD

Project ID

  • Partners: Inštitut za elektronsko participacijo (Slovenia), European Citizen Action Service (Belgium), Stichting Netwerk Democratie (Netherlands), Science For You (Greece), ManaBalss.lv (Latvia), Open Ministry (Finland), Démocratie Ouverte (France), The Democratic Society (United Kingdom)
  • Duration: 10/2016-03/2018
  • Funding: Project “European Citizens Crowdsourcing – EUCROWD” has been funded with the support of the Europe for Citizens programme of the European Union.

 


Project “European Citizens Crowdsourcing – EUCROWD” has been funded with the support of the Europe for Citizens programme of the European Union.

Agreement/decision number: 20161579

Platform of Political Innovation

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Strengthening the role of citizens in Policy Making

The lack of effective procedures for direct and creative participation of citizens in decision making intensifies the political crisis and deprives us of the possibility of using substantive proposals. The sense of futility and abstinence from policy making perpetuates the status quo and excludes long-term participatory design.

DemocracIT

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Strengthening Participatory Democracy

Greece is one of the leading countries in terms of public consultations for draft laws. But only in theory! In reality citizens have only little capability to express their opinion and it is common knowledge that the volume and the lack of structure on citizens' comments prevent their exploitation by the legislature.

Platform of Political Innovation

Monday, 06 October 2014

PPI

Because we know how important is for society to actively involve citizens in decision making at local or national level, we worked with Culture Polis and Place Identity to create an innovation policy platform.Our aim is to strengthen the institutional role and effectiveness of civil society, focusing on the urgent need to shift the policy to new applications.

Role of SciFY as promoter in this project were:

  • Data gathering

  • Data processing

  • Visualization of data and publishing

  • Implementation of an open, online platform for civil partnership

 

What is it

  

The project is one of the stages of social enterprise , Politeia 2.0 and includes:

  1. Research, comparison and visualization for civil rights and institutional role of civil society

  2. Educational participatory planning and participatory leadership programs, contemporary social consultation technologies

  3. Innovation workshops to develop pilot participatory decision-making processes at local and national level

  4. Applications and dissemination activities of new knowledge and information about the democratic deficit in Greece and the possibilities of democratic and collaborative applications in modern times

  5. Open technological tools of cooperation and participation

 

Who is it for

 The project is aimed for: 

  • Every greek citizen who wants to be informed and state his opinion about political choices made in regional and national level.

  • Every public or private department who wants to express a political opinion or communicate a decision.

 

Partners

 

 Partners of PPI

 

Culture Polis logo

 

Place Indentity logo

 

SciFY logo

Culture Polis

Project leader and responsible for the organization and monitoring of the project

 

 

 Place Identity

Responsible for the substantive work of the project

 

 

 

 SciFY

Design and implementation of web-based  communication, cooperation and participation platform

 

Results

On the occasion of the International Republic Day, celebrated every year on September 15, we would like to share with you the results of our project "Platform of Political Innovation", which aims to promote democracy by strengthening the institutional role and effectiveness of civil society, focusing on the urgent need to move the Policy to new technological and civil applications.

The project was funded as part of the "We are all citizens" program, which is part of the EEA Grants for Greece. Grant Manager of the Program is the Bodossaki Institution and the cooperating NGOs are Culture Polis, Place Identity and SciFΥ, three civil society based organizations that have combined their expertise and experience.

Innovative methods we have been experimenting with in various cities in Greece from October to May 2015 are aiming to redefine the decision-making processes at a local and national level. The findings and tools obtained through the civil workshops, educational programs and the research thar was conducted are now available to the public:

1. CITIZENS WORKSHOPS:

Α) Local scale subject  - PEDIO_AGORA: Citizens design the future of Varvakios Square

Β) Nationwide subject - CONSTITUTION 2.0: Citizens design the Constitution of Greece

2. EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS:

3. RESEARCH:

The presentations of the international meeting with subject "PARTICIPATION OF CITIZENS: From designing a neighborhood square to designing the country’s Constitution" are available from Blod.gr, while the overall video is available here.

Project ID

  • Partners: Culture PolisPlace Identity 
  • Duration: 10/2014-07/2015
  • Funding: This project was funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway under the EEA Grants Greek NGO Programme “We are all Citizens”. The Bodossaki Foundation is the Fund Operator of this Programme. The Programme aims to strengthen civil society and enhance the contribution of NGOs to social justice, democracy and sustainable development.

This project is funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway under the EEA Grants Greek NGO Programme “We are all Citizens”. The Bodossaki Foundation is the Fund Operator of this Programme. The Programme aims to strengthen civil society and enhance the contribution of NGOs to social justice, democracy and sustainable development.

 

 

 

I want to support this project.

DemocracIT

Monday, 06 October 2014

DemocracIT

Nowadays, in Greece, there is a vast amount of data which arise from the draft laws public consultation. This type of consultation allows citizens to express their views, suggestions, arguments, or disagreements which are associated with the ongoing legislation. However, the current consultation system and its infrastructure discourage citizens from participating and, moreover, it does not offer policy analysts and shapers the necessary tools to take full advantage of citizens’ participation. Furthermore, there is no direct way to determine the impact of the consultation on drafting the final law.

With DemocracIT project we give power to the people and necessary analytical tools to policy shapers:

Power to the people

What do we achieve?  How?
Encourage citizens’ participation
  • Educational workshops for citizens
  • Rewarding contests for active users
Reinforce the fruitful consultatio Useful tools to
  • Accept/reject and discuss in a structured manner…
  • …on specific parts in the text 
Assess the impact of comments
  • Check if the remarks are integrated in the law…
  • …or not

 

Effective policy making

What do we achieve? How?

Efficient consultation

  • Quick drawing of conclusions
  • Easy and clear problem detection

Smart tools for:

  • analysis and organization of consultation comments…
  • …in a comprehensible and usable manner

Shaping our future 

DemocracIT logo

 

The problem

  

DemocracIT logo

In Greece, citizens express their views, regarding policies and legislations, within the framework of public consultation (PC). PC can be the primary way of citizen participation in the legislative process: in this way, they indicate problems, suggest improvements and defend rights threatened by the legislative process or policy making. By mid-2014, over 440 draft laws had been under PC, but citizen participation was decreased. Why?

  • Public consultation 
    • Started in 2010
    • Over 440 draft laws had been under PC (2014)
    • Low participation that gradually decreases
    • Very short duration (On average: 17 days)
  • Citizens’ opinion. Research has shown that:
    • The perceived value of PC is very high
    • They have difficulty in commenting effectively: unstructured dialogue/annotation
    • They don’t believe that comments are utilized 
  • Analysts’ difficulties
    • There are no analysis tools
    • Difficulties in drawing conclusions

We want to change that and we bring innovation with DemocracIT project. 

The vision

 With DemocracIT project we aim to build a community and a technological information infrastructure which will allow the creative participation and the utilization of the public consultations data, so that:

  • all citizens have user-friendly tools at their disposal in order to substantially contribute to the public consultation process – even after its “official” ending.
  • the impact of citizens’ remarks on the policy making process is increased.
  • the legislator is facilitated with the effective utilization of useful information, which may be “hidden” in the vast amount of comments.
  • the impact of consultations on the legislative process is measured.

DemocracIT aims at the coordinate expression of citizens’ views, regardless of the class or group they belong to. It also aims to highlight citizens’ objections, suggestions and arguments and energize them so that they substantially participate in the conformation of the institutional framework, before the law is formed.

 DemocracIT logo

Who is it for?

DemocracIT addresses:

  • those who produce/plan/form policy. It addresses even more the citizens who want to creatively participate in/contribute to the policy shaping or want to suggest or disagree.
  • those who control the former – journalists, the political opposition and citizens or groups of citizens.
  • those studying the proceedings of the former and their relationships.
  • those interested in reinforcing the development of participatory processes regarding the creation of politics and promoting transparency in public life.

Have a look: DemocracIT demo site in english

What is it?

 

DemocracIT is namely:

  1. An open-source, open-ended collaborative platform for commenting and annotating which allows users to:
    • indicate in the draft law
      • indefinite concepts
      • problematic references to laws
      • legal discrepancies
      • oversized paragraphs incorporating provisions unrelated to each other or to the draft law (lack of transparency)
      • the use of simpler structure and more comprehensible legal concepts
    • in the comments
      • note the arguments for or against a provision
      • express their agreement or disagreement with the arguments
      • respond to other users’ comments in a structured manner
      • continue the discussion after the closure of the consultation round
        • All commenting data of the platform will be freely accessible and usable as public, open data.
        • The commenting process will be encouraged through a gamification approach, so that it is pleasant and interesting for the users.
        • The user interface (Interface & User Experience) will be designed with the greatest user-friendliness.
        • A number of system versions will be implemented in order to converge to a measurably usable and effective platform.
  2. An analysis system of the consultation data which will incorporate (after evaluation) the following functions:
    • detection of topics and sub-topics in the comments of the consultation and grouping of those.
    • detection and visualization (percentage of positive/negative emotion) of basic aspects of the consultation. An aspect of the consultation is defined as a term which seems to be important in users comments, namely one with emotionally charged content.
    • detection and projection of references to specific laws (link to Government Gazette).
    • automatic summarization per article from the whole consultation.
    • identification and comparison of parts of the text between the draft law and the final law.
  • The analysis system architecture will be expandable.
  • The architecture of the visualization will allow for the implementation of a variety of analyses, applications and references on the commenting data and will also allow for the combination of visualizations in workflows. Each workflow will support a different actual demand for the exploitation of the consultation results.
  • For the development of the infrastructure, cutting-edge technology and applied artificial intelligence tools will be used, which have already been utilized in projects similar to DemocracIT, in order to maximize the efficiency of the information flow and to produce practically exploitable knowledge from the unstructured data.
  • The system design will allow for its adaptation and reuse in any form of public or private consultation (and also in other languages).
  • Educational material and documentation/instruction manuals will be created and freely available.
  • In order to strengthen the initial infrastructure, great emphasis will be placed on creating a community of software developers who will be able to further develop the tools and a community of interested experts and citizens. Crowdsourcing procedures will be encouraged for the smooth and efficient operation of the system.
  • The cooperation with already existing equivalent efforts or communities around the world will be pursued and also the communication or interconnection of the system with existing projects (e.g.: opengov.gr, capacity4dev.eu).

 

Partners

 

Our partners in DemocracIT:

Harokopio University

Place Indentity logo

Department of Informatics and Telematics of Harokopio University of Athens

Artificial Intelligence tools, natural language processing, sentiment analysis, data analysis and visualization

Place Identity

Organization, Community activation, Specifications, Case scenarios, Evaluation, Contacts with key people  

Steering Committee:  

  • Athanasia Routzouni - Development Information Service of Ministry of Administrative Reform and e-Governance

  • Christoforos Korakas - Consultant of Business Informatics, Expert on web application for consultations, Knowledge Management, collaboration and transparency on the General Directorate of the European Commission for Development and Co-operation in third countries – EuropeAid, Project Manager of the Capacity4Dev. 

The Future

 

The data collection for the creation of a body of knowledge regarding the public consultation in Greece is part of the future prospects of DemocracIT. Moreover, it can contribute to the writing of the political history of Greece. The use and adoption of DemocracIT can be further expanded to the corresponding public consultations of other countries, to consultations in a transnational or local level or those regarding special issues, or even to “private” consultations.

 

Have a look: DemocracIT demo site in english

 

 

 

Results

Direct Impact: 1800+ Users

You can visit the demo site in english and participate in the legislative process expressing freely your opinion.

We organized and participated to promotional actions and events.

Some of our actions are:

  • The presentation of DemocracIT in the "Member Card" show in the parliament channel.
  • The presentation of the project in the Industry Disruptors Conference.
  • Public bodies have expressed their interest in cooperation between DemocracIT and OpenGov.
  • DemocracIT has been chosen to participate in eDemocracy Conference: In the 6th International e-Democracy Conference where its presentation received great public acceptance.
  • We presented our actions in the "Double Glance" show in ERT SA where we discussed open public consultations and the new possibilities offered by our platform.
  • We participated with great success in the Fosscomm conference.
  • Our work was reported in an article in Kathimerini newspaper.

Moreover, we conducted 3 workshops with the participation of a variety of organizations and a conference in cooperation with the Network for Employment and Social Care, the MUNICIPALITY OF KORYDALLOS and the NATIONAL TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY (NTUA) of Athens. We investigated the “Development of a Participatory Democracy and Politcs  at a Local Level - a contemporary challenge”, also we presented the best practises used in the context of the “we are all citizens” programme, promoting a participatory democracy  via innovative applications. The event was attended by a large number of participants. It is worth mentioning that the students’ participation and their strong interest, contributed to the creation of a productive dialogue.

Have a look: DemocracIT demo site in english 

 

Project ID

 

This project was funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway under the EEA Grants Greek NGO Programme “We are all Citizens”. The Bodossaki Foundation is the Fund Operator of this Programme. The Programme aims to strengthen civil society and enhance the contribution of NGOs to social justice, democracy and sustainable development.

weareallcitizens

I want to support this project.

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