E-Democracy.org, one of the world’s first and longest sustained civicÂ technology projects, is getting ready for what’s next.
This message is an invitation to apply for 2-3 openings on theÂ E-Democracy Board. We meet via teleconference, so this is anÂ opportunity for all.
In a social media world dominated by big market players, we are aÂ proudly volunteer-powered and participant supported digital farmer’sÂ market. We are now one of the only independent, non-profit,Â open-source technology hosted, citizen-based efforts supporting localÂ online civic engagement in the world.
With our recent pledge drive, we doubled our number of individualÂ donors compared to two years ago. These vital funds pay for ourÂ essential technology hosting and help desk to support our manyÂ volunteers and thousands of participants.
With our ongoing outreach, within two years we’ve built perhaps theÂ world’s most useful and globally diverse online communities sharingÂ knowledge in our space with the Open Government and Civic TechnologyÂ Facebook Group.
You get involved with E-Democracy because you believe in strengtheningÂ your local community with digital tools. And/or you get involvedÂ because you care about actually improving democracy and promoting openÂ government with digital innovation everywhere. With this uniqueÂ local-global hybrid approach, we go locally deep with inclusive onlineÂ community and civic engagement where volunteers have stepped forwardÂ and global with convening and 24×7 lesson sharing online.
E-Democracy has two major trends/opportunities to consider:
1. Local online civic engagement – From reviewing the open sourceÂ platform we use or will use in future years to working to share ourÂ inclusion mission, lessons, and strategic actions with the thousandsÂ of everyday e-citizens fostering local online engagement on platformsÂ like Facebook Groups, we have lots to consider when it comes toÂ serving local communities online.
2. Global civic technology and democracy online networking – OurÂ vibrant Facebook Group, the Democracies Online Newswire, our directoryÂ of online e-democracy related groups, and global speaking and onlineÂ lesson sharing is extremely important. What should we do next thatÂ builds on that impact? What could be done to dramatically improve howÂ “democracy builders” (the non tech folks) use online engagement toÂ share knowledge and motivation like the civic tech/open governmentÂ crowd does so well?
This is just the beginning of what might be explored.
With UK Board member Mary Reid and US Board Member Laura WatermanÂ Wittstock retiring (thank you!), E-Democracy’s Board is ready to takeÂ on new members. We will be reviewing applicants over the next coupleÂ months.
We do have a strong interest in seeing Board applicants who are activeÂ on our online community forums (e.g. Minneapolis Neighbors Forums,Â Framingham forums) as well as those engaged globally via our civicÂ tech and open government Facebook Group. As we are currentlyÂ member-supported via individual donations, those with fund raisingÂ experience will add to our base. But surprise us with your skills,Â interests, and passion. All ages welcome as well … note that IÂ started E-Democracy when I was 25.
Here is the process.
1. Read these two short documents:
2. You may optionallyÂ review our recent work, current Board list, etc.:
- 2015 Year in Review
- Board Members
- About Issues Forums Â – local forums background
- Open Government and Civic Technology Facebook Group Â – knowledge exchange
3. Apply Here
4. The Board will review applications and determine which candidatesÂ fit our greatest needs right now.
On a related point, if you would rather just volunteer withÂ E-Democracy in our local forums, note thisÂ volunteer form (if you want to helpÂ with the pledge drive for 2017, note that in the comment box, we haveÂ a special committee).
Or if you would like to assist the newly forming Advisory CommitteeÂ for our Open Government and Civic Technology Facebook Group, send me aÂ note.
E-Democracy was a small civic spark in 1994. Today, it is steady flameÂ in a world swirling with explosions related too often to the negativeÂ uses of technology and social media in society and politics. As theÂ social media world around us generates heat, threatens civility inÂ democracy, and often tears our communities a part based on difference,Â let us find a way to see the light of not just what is easilyÂ possible, but what is seemly impossible but essential for strongÂ communities and vibrant democracies in the digital era.
Founder and Executive Director, E-Democracy.org