The Centre for E-Governance has been organising conferences on electronic democracy since 2007, addressing issues and questions related to e-democracy and open government. Every year, the international Conference for E-Democracy and Open Government (CeDEM) invites individuals from academic and applied backgrounds as well as business, public authorities, NGO, NPOs and education institutions to submit their papers and participate. During her opening remarks, Viktoria Weber, Vice-Rector for Research at the Danube University Krems, highlighted this year’s conference as an opportunity for learning, discussing, networking, finding new solutions and discovering new opportunities with participants from all over the world.
Ralph Schroeder (Oxford Internet Institute) was this year’s Conference for E-Democracy and Open Government’ first keynote, presenting “The Internet, Science, and Transformations of Knowledge”, and his talk did not focus on e-democracy and open government, but on e-research. Although he openly wondered why he had been invited to this conference, we believe that there are important links between science and knowledge and the conference topics. E-research comprises the distributed and collaborative digital tools, described as “tools for manipulating stuff”, and data for online knowledge production. E-democracy, open government, e-participation and the other areas addressed by the conference rely on tools to “manipulate the stuff done” as well as people (citizens, civil servants, politicians, scientists, researchers, experts, activists…..members of society) who use the “tools” and “do stuff”. Making data and knowledge available to the public provides opportunities for citizen awareness, participation and engagement, important issues in open government and e-democracy. Anke Domscheit-Berg (OpenGov.me) showed several examples of the clever use and visualisation of data when it is made open and available, also reflecting creative citizen participation. Arthur Lupia (University of Michigan) reminds us that even in e-democracy and open government we need to carefully think about how we see ourselves, think about the public, and the communication strategies used to improve what the public knows, what we think it should know or we would like the public to know.
An overview of the CeDEM12: http://digitalgovernment.wordpress.com/
The next CeDEM13 will be held on 23-24 May 2013 www.donau-uni.ac.at/cedem
The Centre for E-Governance: http://www.donau-uni.ac.at/de/department/gpa/telematik/index.php