Today I am giving a presentation for a group convened by the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership. But since I’ve already written about them (more than once), I thought I would let you know instead about an exciting conference I will be presenting at later in July.
I admit the title may sound a bit dry. But it’s going to be very cool!
Why? Because this field — “civic engagement,” “participation,” “deliberative democracy” — is on fire, that’s why! A number of threads are coming together that make this so, not the least of which is the fact that the White House just opened an office of public engagement.
The other reason it’ll be a hoot is that there are great “learning exchanges” planned. These are not your normal breakout sessions. They are meant to be highly interactive and useful — the “leaders” are really there to frame up some questions and then step back and let the magic happen.
Anyway, I will be one of the people leading a learning exchange on Thursday morning:
A tech-savvy citizenry: New media for public participation, policy deliberation, and social change
Facebook and other social networks. Online video. Twitter. Online neighborhood forums. Technology is already reshaping deliberative democracy. What are the most promising tools and resources now available, and where is the potential for future innovation? What technologies work best for local democracy, for national democracy, for community organizing, and so on? In this session, we’ll examine what’s hot, what’s tried and true, and what’s tried – and failed. We’ll also consider the kinds of skills citizens need – and students should acquire – in order to be active participants in a tech-savvy democracy.
Everyone will be there! You should be too!