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Is Democracy the New Christianity? - Los Angeles Daily News (blog)

Is Democracy the New Christianity? Los Angeles Daily News (blog) Once upon a time, in a world that seems in the distant past, Europeans believed, sometimes sincerely, that they had a duty to bring the Good News of Christianity to the unsaved and...
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Our faith in Democracy is fine.  I share that faith, but it should be clear that we cannot, and should not try to, assume its self-evident attraction to the rest of the world. Trying to impose our faith is arrogant, condescending and a terrible reminder of a time when it was “The White Man’s Burden” to bring the true faith and real civilization to the “Great Unwashed.”

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Open Data 500: Proof that open data fuels economic activity

Open Data 500: Proof that open data fuels economic activity | Vox populi | Scoop.it
The Open Data 500 study is an index of US companies using open government data to generate business and develop products. Read our interview with Joel Gurin, the project's director.

Via Ivan Begtin
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open datais:

- free for use, reuse, and redistribution;- released under a legally open license;

- technically open, available in a machine-readable format.

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India elections: millions turn out in first big day of voting

India elections: millions turn out in first big day of voting | Vox populi | Scoop.it
14 states and territories including Delhi and Uttar Pradesh go to the polls on third day of voting for Indian parliamentMillions of people have turned out to vote across Delhi and the crucial state of Uttar Pradesh amid tight security on the first...
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Europarl Hackathon for the European Elections 2014 | Hacking Democracy

Europarl Hackathon for the European Elections 2014 | Hacking Democracy | Vox populi | Scoop.it

Via Citizens for Europe
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During this weekend we are going to work on several projects aiming at better telling the story of the European Parliament. We will create small groups of 2 to 4 people mixing competencies and having them generate a mini-site, and infographics, a chart... whatever they think is the best tool. We have experience participating in similar “sprints”. It's intense, includes very little sleep and way too much coffee, furious coding and writing, resulting in lots of energy and the pleasure of having built something in a very short amount of time.

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public space: “Open City”, A New Cycle of Lectures in the Barcelona Debate

public space: “Open City”, A New Cycle of Lectures in the Barcelona Debate | Vox populi | Scoop.it
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Between 27 January and 24 March, the CCCB will present speakers of a very wide range of backgrounds and sensibilities who will discuss the concept of openness as a necessary condition for urban life.

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The App for Citizens' Initiatives

The App for Citizens' Initiatives | Vox populi | Scoop.it
An effective app would only bother users once, send notifications once in a while when new ECI's are available and allow them to sign with one click I have been eagerly waiting for this moment - when I can scroll through the official European...
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2014: The Year of Open Data

2014: The Year of Open Data | Vox populi | Scoop.it
2013 was a big year for municipal open data, but I think 2014 will be even bigger. Last year saw the development of an interesting dialog on open data - one that I took part in - focused on the pro...
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Bureaucratic barriers often prevent the free flow of information inside government, so it is often the case that what should be easy isn’t. Could we condition the denial of a permit from city government on whether a person has an outstanding tax liability, an outstanding parking ticket, a violation against a property they own, or an outstanding utility bill?

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The United States Releases its Second Open Government National Action Plan | The White House

The United States Releases its Second Open Government National Action Plan | The White House | Vox populi | Scoop.it
The Obama Administration released the second U.S. Open Government National Action Plan, announcing 23 new or expanded open-government commitments that will advance these efforts even further.
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This second National Action Plan is another opportunity to set concrete and measurable goals for achieving a more transparent, participatory, and collaborative government. We look forward to working alongside civil society to carry out these commitments and continue identifying new ways to open our government in the future.

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People Power: A Documentary Exploring Participatory Democracy Around the World

People Power: A Documentary Exploring Participatory Democracy Around the World | Vox populi | Scoop.it
How can ordinary people hold elected government officials accountable? In the short documentary People Power, TV Education Asia Pacific approaches accountability through participatory democracy. Th...
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The cases explored serve as prime examples of a participatory government’s power to improve lives at the local level and to make progress on critical development issues such as corruption, health, finance, and unemployment.

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Human Rights Day 2013

Human Rights Day 2013 | Vox populi | Scoop.it
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights - The 20th anniversary
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Human Rights Day is held on 10 December every year, the date the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, proclaiming its principles as the “common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations.”

 
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Internet leaders speak out on the need for government reform of surveillance

Internet leaders speak out on the need for government reform of surveillance | Vox populi | Scoop.it
Executives from AOL, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter and Yahoo urge the US government to lead the way
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Eight American tech companies including Google, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft have written to President Barack Obama demanding an overhaul of US surveillance laws

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Global Web Index Points to Social Media's Political Power But Shows Risks of Online Surveillance and Unequal Access

Global Web Index Points to Social Media's Political Power But Shows Risks of Online Surveillance and Unequal Access | Vox populi | Scoop.it
A new Web Index released by the World Wide Web Foundation finds that Sweden, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States rank highest in a measure of how the web contributes to development and th...
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“One of the most encouraging findings of this year’s Web Index is how the Web and social media are increasingly spurring people to organise, take action and try to expose wrongdoing in every region of the world," Berners-Lee said in a statement.


"But some governments are threatened by this, and a growing tide of surveillance and censorship now threatens the future of democracy. Bold steps are needed now to protect our fundamental rights to privacy and freedom of opinion and association online.”

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China: Keep Commitment to Hong Kong Democracy | Human Rights Watch

China: Keep Commitment to Hong Kong Democracy | Human Rights Watch | Vox populi | Scoop.it
(New York) – The Chinese government should allow the people of Hong Kong to select the candidates they wish for chief executive rather than trying to predetermine the 2017 election, Human Rights Watch said today.
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“Beijing has now made it crystal clear that genuine democracy will not be on offer to the people of Hong Kong,” said Brad Adams, Asia director. “While saying it will hold a public consultation, the Chinese government has already decided to retain control over who governs Hong Kong.”

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Google’s Schmidt Predicts Government Censorship Can Vanish In A Decade | TechCrunch

Google’s Schmidt Predicts Government Censorship Can Vanish In A Decade | TechCrunch | Vox populi | Scoop.it
"I believe there's a real chance that we can eliminate censorship and the possibility of censorship in a decade," Google Chairman Eric Schmidt said..
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“It’s always a cat-and-mouse game,” said Schmidt. Last spring, for instance, the freedom-loving government of Iran cracked down on the use of VPNs. Those who choose to abide by the law are subject to the censorship whims of governments which sporadically block media social media sites that permit dissenting or culturally sensitive material.

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The Philadelphia Experiment

The Philadelphia Experiment | Vox populi | Scoop.it
Three years ago next month, the City of Philadelphia’s open data portal was launched by local technology firm Azavea as ...
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In the last several years, Philadelphia has grown into a national leader on open data and civic technology. We enthusiastically share our experience and our ideas with other municipalities that want to kick off their own open data experiment.

Our open data portal contains dozens of new data sets added since the adoption of our open data policy, some released for the very first time by city government. The OpenDataPhilly platform has inspired efforts in other cities that look to us as a model for how to implement their open data efforts.

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Lessons from the World's Most Tech-Savvy Government

Lessons from the World's Most Tech-Savvy Government | Vox populi | Scoop.it
An Estonian shares his country's strategy for navigating the digital world.
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Estonians started by redesigning their entire information infrastructure from the ground up with openness, privacy, security, and ‘future-proofing’ in mind.

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Why Representative Democracies Can't Write Off Transparency

Why Representative Democracies Can't Write Off Transparency | Vox populi | Scoop.it

Effective transparency is not a 'release-the-information-and-they-will-come' proposition. Information disclosure occurs within an ecosystem of interest groups and advocacy organizations that remix, repackage, and redistribute information once it is released. This civil-society context in which data is released significantly affects the effectiveness transparency can have.

 

In contrast to the average citizen, the media and existing interest groups can pay attention and evaluate complex policy issues, which they are able to observe because of the existence of relatively robust transparency regimes.

 

Making as much information available, in as timely a way as possible and in machine-readable, open, bulk formats lowers barriers for these organizations to operate.

 

Transparency doesn't solve everything, but it does make the marketplace of competing interests work better, and in so doing it helps align politicians’ incentives to promote responsive outcomes.


[Original text by Alexander Furnas, the Sunlight Foundation. Published by the Atlantic]


Via Martin Hamilton
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Citizen roles in civic problem-solving and innovation

Citizen roles in civic problem-solving and innovation | Vox populi | Scoop.it
We can foresee a shift in citizens’ role from that of a passive service beneficiary to that of an active informed partner.
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In the private sector, companies across industries have benefited much from engaging with their customers in innovation. Evidence so far suggests that the benefits from citizen engagement in civic problem-solving are equally tangible, valuable and varied.

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Afghan Youth Debates: Women, Politics and Power - Institute for War and Peace Reporting - P142

Afghan Youth Debates: Women, Politics and Power - Institute for War and Peace Reporting - P142 | Vox populi | Scoop.it
Women have gained some ground in Afghan politics but still do not wield any real influence in government, a female academic in the western city of Herat says.
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“Afghan women have a political presence rather than real political participation,” she said. "Women cannot claim to enjoy political participation in Afghanistan just by occupying some seats [in government]," Urfani said.

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Buenos Aires, A Pocket of Civic Innovation in Argentina

Buenos Aires, A Pocket of Civic Innovation in Argentina | Vox populi | Scoop.it
In only a few years, the government, civil society and media in Buenos Aires have actively embraced open data.
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Another issue with open data is getting other branches of the government to modernize. Borrmann says that a lot of the Open Government’s work is done behind the scenes. “In general, you have very poor IT infrastructure all over Latin America” that interferes with the gathering and publishing of data, he says. “So in some cases it’s not about publishing or not publishing,” but about “having robust infrastructure for the information.”

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The Knowledge Portal: Practice in Participation

The Knowledge Portal: Practice in Participation | Vox populi | Scoop.it
A web-based knowledge portal called “Practice in Participation” is both a digital resource and a forum for practitioners to share and learn from others' field-based knowledge on participatory pract...
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The portal will act as an intermediary for knowledge on participatory practices by connecting practitioners working on similar themes from across the world. The portal will also impact social change as practitioners can have better impact of their work and local communities can value their local knowledge and be primary actors in changing their own lives.
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Open Knowledge recognised as key to democracy in the digital age | Open Knowledge Foundation Blog

Open Knowledge recognised as key to democracy in the digital age | Open Knowledge Foundation Blog | Vox populi | Scoop.it
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We want a world in which government data is open by default. We want to connect those who face the biggest challenges – a healthcare worker in Zambia or an education campaigner in Pakistan – with the information they need to approach those. We want to see democracy become a deep social reality, powered by openness, transparency and accountability.

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Lessons in Democracy from the streets of Bangkok - The Nation

Lessons in Democracy from the streets of Bangkok - The Nation | Vox populi | Scoop.it
Lessons in Democracy from the streets of Bangkok The Nation Whether or not the massive nationwide anti-government protests, particularly on the streets of Bangkok, will lead to any meaningful changes in our...
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And powerful quotations from philosophers and thinkers of politics and democracy from ancient Greece to the genius of modern eras were invoked to justify their "right to rebel" against what they perceive to be an unjust government. Social media has been the best instrument to share with millions around the country and help galvanise the overwhelming support from the country's agitated electorate.

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Improving Democracy Through Deliberation – Interview with Lyn Carson

Improving Democracy Through Deliberation – Interview with Lyn Carson | Vox populi | Scoop.it
Source: flickr
Lyn Carson is a professor with the Business Programs Unit at the University of Sydney, Australia. Her research areas are
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Lyn Carson: The difficulties that relate to modern democracy probably start with the use of that term. We have begun to believe that the system of representative government that is pervasive in both the West and increasingly in other locations is actually a democracy.

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After "Recognizing" Kosovo, Facebook Denies Political Agency

After "Recognizing" Kosovo, Facebook Denies Political Agency | Vox populi | Scoop.it
After Facebook finally listed Kosovo as its own country, rather than lumping it together with Serbia, from which it declared independence more than five years ago, the Kosovo Minister of European Inte...
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Companies have clearly no role to play in the formal recognition of countries as this is a matter for the international community to decide. We do try to ensure that our service meets the needs of our users and so will offer options for checking in and targeting communications that reflect geographical designations that are in common usage.

 

Yet for Kosovo activists and politicians alike, it is clearly a significant move and an accomplishment, of sorts.

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You asked, we listened - open data now in 17 languages

You asked, we listened - open data now in 17 languages | Vox populi | Scoop.it
We ask users of our open data from around the world to send us feedback.
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Now users that are viewing a country page on the data site are able to download data for that country in their own language. The download file contains translated indicator names and metadata descriptions.

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