Topics of Interest

Data Sharing between Government and Citizens. A critical first step to support participation will often be the access to relevant background information. How is such information best made comprehensible and usable for citizens in various contexts? How can we transcend simply relaying information and by doing so support citizens in taking action? E.g. how can the information be contextualized within the citizens’ everyday living environment?

Citizen Influence on Policy-Making Processes. Many e-participation systems implemented by governments today are limited in the way citizens’ contributions flow back into decision-making processes (see e.g. [4]). How can a tighter integration between e-participation systems and decision-making processes be achieved? How do we deal with the very different incentives government and citizens have for interacting and how should these incentives be aligned? How is government supported in being attentive to citizens and how are citizens supported in aligning their participatory efforts as to gain swifter influence? And should the goal be “fitting within the system” or a more revolutionary approach challenging governmental procedures and assumptions at the core?

Citizen-Citizen and Citizen-Government Collaboration and Community Support through Web 2.0 Tools. Discussion forums and community websites let citizens exchange opinions and share information. How do we best facilitate the collaborative aspects of such activities? How do these types of collaboration relate to silo discussions between like-minded citizens and the polarization of demographic groups? Can we build communities  facilitated by the government to reach people with specific needs to discuss and improve government services and deliver better support to the community?

Boundary Objects in Citizen-Government Collaboration. As in e.g. [3] new technologies may challenge existing boundaries between private and professional spheres; citizens and public institutions and actors. How does such re/structuring of boundaries affect the involved actors’ incentives for collaboration?

Situating Citizen Deliberation. Many citizen deliberation activities relate to objects in the citizens’ immediate environment (e.g., their neighborhood or places in the city). What are the challenges and potentials to situating deliberative activities in specific geographical contexts? How can location-aware mobile and ubiquitous technologies be leveraged and implemented to enable situatedness in e.g. discussions?

Introduction of Social Media into Government Agencies. Government staffs often lack the tools and necessary skills to engage meaningfully online. How can the use of social media be introduced within the government? How can they engage meaningfully online while still following public communication guidelines?

Grassroots Approaches and Activism. Web 2.0 has been called a revolution for grassroots movements and activism. What are salient examples of this?

Inclusion and Accessibility. Which citizen groups are the targets of e-participation systems? How does choice of technological platform relate to reaching new user groups, excluding others, and supporting new ways of participation?

Designing for Local Conditions. What are commonalities and differences in designing e-participation systems for the developed vs. the developing world? Urban vs. rural areas? Heterogeneous vs. homogeneous populations (culture, age, level of education, etc)?

Privacy, Anonymity and Public Opinions. Citizens may not want to completely disclose their identities when participating in public discussions. How can privacy and anonymity be supported while still allowing public debate and democratic actions, where participators are held accountable for their contributions? As explored in [2, 3], how do we support proportionate information sharing letting participating actors control which information gets shared when and with whom?

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