“Us Now” and participative democracy

Us Now is definitely a film to watch for those of us interested in the way grassroots movements are exploiting collaborative technologies. Director Ivo Gomley has manged to capture many aspects and examples in the documentary. Also thanks to Sermo for making this happen.

After nearly 4 years of blogging on the topic of the Digital Society — often times meandering out on to my technology-jaunts — I have for the first time got a sense of this phenomenon — Society 2.0 or “deep democracy” — taking root. I could hardly contain my excitement watching the different examples. Was also busy tweeting to capture my thoughts for later blogging (some tweets in Norwegian).

The debate that followed the screening was not really a debate — the speakers were more or less in agreement on most issues. Which is just fine. We got some “confirmation to proceed”; what is needed now is to sustain the level of discussion and find ways to uncover the real issues in making Society 2.0 happen. The general election in Sept this year is very tempting to try out some ideas to get the issue up on the table. Anyone out there with ideas?

In earlier posts, I talked about the need to get law-makers and businesses to get together. Watching the film today, I am convinced we must hurry if we are to give ourselves time to evolve our societies and influence the global world order over the next 10-20 years. I would like to see a multi-discplinary think-tank (TT) formed; comprising political scientists, social scientists, computer scientists and business organisations to name a few players. This TT should take no more than 6-9 months to propose a long-term approach (say 4-5 years) to revise some laws and policies for eg in areas like education, healthcare, civil law, welfare and employment. Make changes that are more favourable to this “deep democracy” we want to happen. This will not be a revolution, but a very fast evolution.

In earlier posts I talked about Norway as a test-bed for creating services for the digital world. I’m not quite sure right now. It appears that maybe Norway does not have “enough pain” to want to stretch itself to experiment with participative decision-making. I guess the old adage “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” holds true. However, I’m not giving up the thought completely. Two areas I’d love to see more work is in Education adn Health care.

Watch this space…

About francisds

I guide clients in choosing technology solutions to bring about change in how they engage with their constituents. I work by generating ideas and shaping opportunities that lead to implemented solutions. My specialization is in the design of solutions comprising business and community technologies. I thrive with simplifying complex tasks. I am passionate about societal engagement and business to community collaboration.
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