In an effort to reconstruct the concept of democracy in the digital era, 24 young people from various European countries came together in a 2-day interactive co-laboratory which took place on the 14th -15th September. Through the Structured Democratic Dialogue Process, participants were given the opportunity to re-imagine the characteristics that an ideal system of governance should have, one that would make full use of innovative emerging technologies.
During the co-laboratory that was facilitated by the head of the non-governmental organisation «Future Worlds Center», Dr. Yiannis Laouris, and Dr. Afonso Ferreira, currently seconded as expert to the European Commission, DG INFSO, working at the Future & Emerging Technologies unit, participants invested over 500 man-hours to think, discuss, analyse, and ultimately vote in order to determine which are the most fundamental features that when implemented, could bring about the most grounding change for an ideal system of governance.
The co-laboratory made continuous use of the latest technology, as ideas were electronically recorded, compiled and processed so as to finally produce a map with all the data collected. The map that was gradually produced shows the manner in which if certain of the characteristics suggested were to be implemented, certain others could be immediately facilitated, as the key characteristics branch out and lead us to derivatives.
While ideas developed around the key question of "what are the features of an ideal future system of governance that fully utilises innovative emerging technologies?”, participants concluded that the most influential of all the characteristics were firstly the End of Political Parties as Institutions, the use of Technology for Time Management of Active Participation, the Re-definition of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and finally the Continuous Passive and Active Participation of citizens in the Political Process via an Online Platform.
By the end of the process, participants had collectively developed a vision and a shared commitment on how to propose and promote their suggested ideas with the vision to achieve reform, each starting in their own ideal socio-politico-economic systems of governance.
The results of the co-laboratory will be widely disseminated on-line with the support of the Cyprus Community Media Center, using video clips and modern digital technologies. The aim is to circulate these amongst other youth initiatives across the world and inspire further innovative suggestions for reform.
The co-laboratory took place back-to-back with the Cyprus EU Youth Conference, which built on the priority of the Cypriot Presidency to address the topic of Youth Participation in democratic life in Europe, as one of the main priorities of the trio PL-DK-CY adopted by the Ministers' meeting at the Council of Education, Youth, Culture and Sport.
The co-laboratory was the result of a joint initiative between the Future Worlds Center and the Digital Futures Task Force. It was implemented under the patronage of the Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism, Sport, Media and Youth, Mrs Androulla Vassiliou, and was under the auspices of the Cyprus Ministry of Education and Culture, the Mayor of Nicosia, Mr. Constantinos Yiorkadjis, and the Youth for Exchange and Understanding.
For more information visit:http://www.futureworlds.eu/wiki/SDDP_Reinventing_Democracy_in_the_Digital_Era