Keynote: Anke Domscheit-Berg

Anke Domscheit-Berg

Digital Democracy - How Technology helps Governments and Citizens to Open Up Politics and Public Administration

All over the world, more and more governments embrace open government concepts. Many administrations unlock their data vaults and make uncounted data sets available to the public as open data - machine readable, in multiple formats.

These data treasures become a source for innovation and development of new services but they are also a basis for more and better participation of people. Visualizations make complex concepts more easily understandable and hence enable better informed citizens to voice their opinions. Today, citizens demand more transparency and inclusion in political decision-making. Recent legislation failures such as on SOPA (USA) or ACTA (EU) show that in a digital democracy, law making can no longer be done behind closed doors.

Technology makes it possible for public administrations to open up and become more participative on the one hand. But it also helps people across national borders to connect and mobilize, to force transparency where it is lacking, to get rid of laws they don't like and collaboratively write laws they want on the other. Community Public Partnerships evolve, where governments and civil society work jointly for common goals.

Tools used by governments as well as by civil society are often open source and shared with others. Some of the best open government platforms are running on Drupal. Open(ing) Government is still in its early phase. Its getting more global, more mobile, more open source. Engaging in Open Government means not only benefiting our society, it also means business opportunities.