Session Proposals

Elmar Burke

Do we need OpenData as a requirement for a successfully participation?

Open Government is based on three topics:

- Participation

- Collaboration


- Data

Do we realy need all three bases?

Is OpenData a requirement for (e)-participation?

Why do we need OpenData?

(This session idea is not so tidy up, it is early, we missed our connection train. [senk ju vor träwelling with Deutsche Bahn]. So please be considerate ;) )

Some topics to discuss in Youth BarCamp

Here are some questions related to the topics in Youth BarCamp which I would be interested to know about. These questions aroused to me because many of the issues that are brought up as a thematic framework in Youth BarCamp are new to me. It is not necessary to discuss all of them but maybe some of them.

-How is online youth participation implemented in different countries? What kind of good practices exist in your home country?

-What kind of ICT tools have you used as influence methods?

-What is the most effective way to act as an active citizen in online environments?

I my opinion especially the question about online environments is particularly interesting. Today Internet is full of ads and that kind of stuff trying to affect us. But if you try to reach young people's attention for example with social media services like Facebook, somebody may even read your post, but nobody will actually become interested in it and think "Hey, that's great - I'm going to participate!" So if you really want to be heard and reach somebody, in your opinion, which is the best way to get attention - online or offline - and make other people interested in what you have to say?
Jesse Juopperi, 16.10.2013
Ina Mikkola

Social Media Service and App for Participation

Should we try to create a totally new social media service for participation? I mean in a bigger level, not just different services for different countries. It could have somehow different levels.

See this as an App in your phone, which could come part of your everyday life.

And then how we could create this service as popular "active citizen online environment" as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram etc..?

Really "have no idea" how to make this thing happen and the way it would really work or is this even a good idea, but that would be the thing to to discuss!

youthpart ijab

guidelines e-participation

the youthpart guideline-process needs feedback from the adressed young people, - you :-) Participate! The Link to the actual version of the guidelines will follow.

guidelines, last version, so far...
youthpart ijab, 15.10.2013
Just wanted to remind people that next to each session proposal there's a star and a number - you can give an upvote to a proposal you like or think contributes to the event.
Inka Nieminen, 15.10.2013
guidelines now with gfx
youthpart ijab, 16.10.2013

Direct Democracy (and eParticipation) - Opportunities and Limits

While the history of direct democracy dates back to the ancient Greek and Athens, in 2013 most democracies are represantative democracies, that only occasionaly resort to letting the citizens decide on specific issues direclty.

While a direct democracy comes closest to the ideal of a society made of equals, that all participate, decide and try to foster the greater good, this form of government also comes with many issues.

eParticipation, thanks to the rise of the internet and new technologies, could provide a big push for enabling direct democracy and active citizenship in a modern society.

In this session I would give a very short introduction of the history of democracy, show some examples of successes and failures of direct democracy (for example in Switzerland or California), and then SPEND MOST OF THE TIME DISCUSSING pros and cons of direct democracy to share our experiences, views and perspectives on the subject.

Possible discussion topics:

What possibilites does eParticipation provide?

Is direct democracy a practical concept?

Is the average human to gullable/lazy/disinterested to be a proper citizen?

What are the risks of direct democracy?

ps: open for any suggestions!
Christoph Herzog, 15.10.2013
I liked the idea of people getting more actively involved in their community and having a greater say on matters that affect them but sadly, I don't think people are much interested in direct democracy. Many people today are too concerned with their own lives to care about what happens to other people and whilst it is true that democracy does affect them, they seem too blinded by the short term nature of their personal problems to realise this. I'd love to explore the possibility of bringing eDemocracy into the 21st century and seeing what options this provides for local communities but on a more pragmatic level, I don't think people would care to use it. You can lead a horse to water etc etc. Still, I definitely think it would be interesting to explore the concept.
Samuel Patterson, 15.10.2013
You are not too far off from my own views there, Samuel, sadly people usually only get involved when something pisses them off, and even then only rarely. It's a combination of us living too easy lifes, being frustrated with the political system (even though it could be way worse), etc. Still I can't bring myself to let go of an idealistic concept of the perfect, well educated, engaged and active citizen, as unreachable as it might be.
Christoph Herzog, 15.10.2013
Also, people rarely think beyond their partial interests, and often are not willing to or not able to consider the bigger picture. But those are all exiting topics for a session ;)
Christoph Herzog, 15.10.2013
I like the proposal, you could present some practical case process where direct democracy practices were applied (for example in city planning). What were the outcomes, did the democratic approach add something to the process or was it halted because of it? Best regards, Arttu, Finland (I'm using Inka's login because can't get my own to work :D)
Inka Immonen, 15.10.2013
Some countries have a thing called compulsory voting (as in direct democratic voting). I don't think we have any participants from these countries, unfortunately. Anyways, I think it could also be brought up that despite the lack of interest in direct democracy, it can be enforced, and it's arguable whether or not that's a good thing. Just saying that there are ways of getting around the problem of voter inactivity.
Inka Nieminen, 15.10.2013
Hi everybody, such a pleassure to be here. I think that the ideal is that one day people don't need any government to be free, even it seems a paradox by now to need some kind of control to be free, that's why i think to become this utopic idea real what we need it's a huge change in education, in its meaning of respect to other and "don't do to others what you don't want others to do to you". At the end, democracy it's just the option of choosing the special one who is gonna rule you. Thinking lower I think we need some kind of control (by now and with the hope that is not taking long) and people is just not prepare to choose someone directly in the massive countries (with millions of people), maybe it should be a great experiment in smaller countries, which doesn't mean we should "open" our democracies little by little. (I don't really know if I made myself clear) Glad to be hear, anyway. Fernan, Spain.
Fernando Camacho Carames, 15.10.2013
Fernan, you made yourself clear enough for me to know that I agree with you. I think it would be great if we reached the utopia where a government isn't needed because everybody is so beautifully behaved and considerate that it isn't necessary. But after watching a particular episode of Family Guy in which the main characters manage to disband the government of their city and the city falls apart, I don't think we're there yet so for now, the next best thing we can work towards is getting more people directly involved in politics and democracy. I think this would be a great topic for discussion at the BarCamp.
Samuel Patterson, 15.10.2013

Some ideas on "participation"

Discussions regarding "participation" could also involve writing and sharing a couple paragraphs on a selected topic and group work.

Questions such as:

- Participation, what for?

- What is the difference between political and cultural participation, is there one?

- To reach what goals?

- How to monitor it?

- What is the point of having an initiative?

- Is there funding/guidance/support available for projects by young people?

Topics such as

- official vs unofficial channels of participation

official channels are typically closed, slow and bureaucratic while unofficial ones are flexible, adaptable and creative (the greatest technical wisdom doesn't live long in bureaucracy)

- How can bureaucracy be flexible and adapt quickly? (ensure with dynamic planning processes)

- Doing risk and accessibility planning (who needs to have access, when, what is meaningful to what group of people and how do they find what is relevant information to them)

--> scenario planning (creating "target group persons" through which to observe, example: Matt, 16yrs old, has a youtube sketch show, wants to do short films)

Check out this website for information on Aloitekanava (Initiative Channel), a Finnish E-democracy Service for Young People:

Youth Democracy Fund Berlin

The Senate of Berlin has launched a programme to foster youth participation in Berlin. The Youth Democracy Fund (“Jugend-Demokratiefonds Berlin”) is a funding programme for bodies engaged in working with young people between 12 and 21 years of age as well as an opportunity for young people themselves to apply for a funding if they want to carry out projects that deal with democracy, tolerance, prevention of violence and discrimination in manifold ways.

I would like to present a few aspects of Berlin’s programme and I am curious to hear about the places where you are from. Do the municipalities and authorities engage in implementing programmes to foster (youth) participation? How does it work? And: Does it work out?

I hope we can gather experience from where we reside. Participants in this session will (hopefully :) …

- learn about public funding programmes

- hear best practice and no-gos when it comes to funding

- gather inspiration for future projects and ideas for future funding of (participative) youth projects

I am looking forward to your contributions!

Disclaimer: I am working with Democratic Youth Foundation in Berlin which is one of the institutions working on the implementation of the Youth Democracy Fund. Feel free to check for more information.

Get in touch: | |

"Cross-border community media" - or: Let's get to know each other.

Short version: I think Blogs, social media and "community media" may contribute a lot to understanding societies in EU member states. I'd like to show you a few and I am eager to hear about community media that you know.

Never heard of community media? No problem, read some here: Curios? Join us!


Longer version:

We will hardly come anywhere close to one European Society if we keep complaining about the deviding lines between today’s existing European Societies. Even if it has become easier to cross borders in times of Facebook and Easyjet, it is still mass media that are responsible for the portrait of foreign countries in a given society.

Earlier this year, when speaking about the “European Idea”, Federal President Gauck suggested we should aim for an “innovation to foster more Europe, perhaps like an ARTE channel for everyone” referring to the bilingual TV channel arte which is operated by French and German journalists. arte made a contribution to today’s good mutual Franco-German understanding.

Since none of us wants to wait until someone jumps out of the box and hands over a fully operating European media channel, be it online, on TV or in press, we can work on a starting point ourselves. Community media offer a wide range of free and easy-to-use editing as well as publishing tools, so many people create their own high-quality-media. I would like to focus on cross-border community media that already deal with bordering countries and the European Union member states. Let’s explore Europe’s landscape of international community media together!

I would like to give you a few impressions of www.Polen.Pl, a website that is hosted by a Polish-German team that is spread over both countries. The rest is up to us! Which community media (Websites/Social Media-Channels/…) do we know? What do they do and what do they contribute to getting to know our neighbouring countries? What can we learn from that?

Wanna show some and speak about them? Go ahead and add yours to the etherpad in advance, so that we can speak about it:

Get in touch: | |

Find President Gauck's speech here:;jsessionid=C87C093651E2AC472B84EC3A4B3A0B06.2_cid293?nn=1891680

It's not a community media per se, but Presseurop gathers media coverage from different European countries and translates it in different languages. Arttu
Inka Immonen, 15.10.2013
I think the challenge is not anymore that there isn't enough content, now the challenge is the curation of the content and connecting the information to decision-making practices. Arttu.
Inka Immonen, 15.10.2013
I'd absolutely love to see a channel, perhaps online, where lots of different TV shows and films, community films and short clips in many different languages explore and open up the other countries of Europe. It would be so incredible to get a greater understanding of different countries by watching community-made videos about what matters to them in their area. This would be a great idea to explore :)
Samuel Patterson, 15.10.2013
It's not about broadcasting in different languages and different channels. It's about TEACHING how to broadcast your reality. Certainly, Inka, connecting the info to decision-making should be done if we know how to transmit the message. Schools, universities even isolated communities in the countryside have learned to develop their own newspaper, even their own radio frequency ( Cases are here: Translate Spain case) Here are my doubts - can we spread the use of community medias ? How? - How can it be taught the use of community medias? - What about Internet as a community media? Which strategy could be use ? Greetings!
Angel Torres , 16.10.2013
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