The trend towards more user contributions on the web and an increased interest in e.g. social media technology, from both governments and citizens, leads to new potentials and challenges in designing for citizen-government interactions.

In the workshop we will look at both of these sides: citizen empowerment as well as governments as collaborators in these interactions. Of course, these ideas are not new. However, while the Internet has often been praised as a means to empower citizens in democracies, research has shown that merely increasing the available amount of information about public policy does not lead to increased democratic engagement.

For several years now, governments have recognized the potential of the Web 2.0 to bring citizens and their governments closer together. Indeed, the social web holds the potential of supporting a better two-way communication where citizens are engaged through public consultations, contributing to the design of government policies. The question is what role governments have to play in this development. How do we best support the notion of government as a collaborator that is more accountable, responsive and transparent?

In the workshop we wish to address challenges such as how to render information more usable by citizens, how to strengthen citizen influence through citizen-citizen collaboration, how to bridge the gap between citizen deliberation and concrete citizen influence on democratic issues, and how to promote a better two-way communication between government and citizens, building citizen communities that are facilitated by government to discuss and improve government services.

Important Dates

  • April 1 April 8: submission of position and experience papers *deadline extended*
  • April 30: notifications of acceptance
  • May 13: early bird registration deadline
  • May 27: final papers due
  • June 30: workshop in Brisbane, Australia

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