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E-Democracy.org – Project Blog

New Board member openings. Make an e-difference with E-Democracy.org.

Written by Steven Clift

E-Democracy.org, one of the world’s first and longest sustained civic technology projects, is getting ready for what’s next.

This message is an invitation to apply for 2-3 openings on the E-Democracy Board. We meet via teleconference, so this is an opportunity for all.

In a social media world dominated by big market players, we are a proudly volunteer-powered and participant supported digital farmer’s market. We are now one of the only independent, non-profit, open-source technology hosted, citizen-based efforts supporting local online civic engagement in the world.

With our recent pledge drive, we doubled our number of individual donors compared to two years ago. These vital funds pay for our essential technology hosting and help desk to support our many volunteers and thousands of participants.

With our ongoing outreach, within two years we’ve built perhaps the world’s most useful and globally diverse online communities sharing knowledge in our space with the Open Government and Civic Technology Facebook Group.

You get involved with E-Democracy because you believe in strengthening your local community with digital tools. And/or you get involved because you care about actually improving democracy and promoting open government with digital innovation everywhere. With this unique local-global hybrid approach, we go locally deep with inclusive online community and civic engagement where volunteers have stepped forward and global with convening and 24×7 lesson sharing online.

Looking Forward

E-Democracy has two major trends/opportunities to consider:

1. Local online civic engagement – From reviewing the open source platform we use or will use in future years to working to share our inclusion mission, lessons, and strategic actions with the thousands of everyday e-citizens fostering local online engagement on platforms like Facebook Groups, we have lots to consider when it comes to serving local communities online.

2. Global civic technology and democracy online networking – Our vibrant Facebook Group, the Democracies Online Newswire, our directory of online e-democracy related groups, and global speaking and online lesson sharing is extremely important. What should we do next that builds on that impact? What could be done to dramatically improve how “democracy builders” (the non tech folks) use online engagement to share knowledge and motivation like the civic tech/open government 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 Waterman Wittstock retiring (thank you!), E-Democracy’s Board is ready to take on new members. We will be reviewing applicants over the next couple months.

We do have a strong interest in seeing Board applicants who are active on our online community forums (e.g. Minneapolis Neighbors Forums, Framingham forums) as well as those engaged globally via our civic tech and open government Facebook Group. As we are currently member-supported via individual donations, those with fund raising experience will add to our base. But surprise us with your skills, interests, and passion. All ages welcome as well … note that I started E-Democracy when I was 25.

Here is the process.

1. Read these two short documents:

2. You may optionally review our recent work, current Board list, etc.:

3. Apply Here

 

4. The Board will review applications and determine which candidates fit our greatest needs right now.

On a related point, if you would rather just volunteer with E-Democracy in our local forums, note this volunteer form (if you want to help with the pledge drive for 2017, note that in the comment box, we have a special committee).

Or if you would like to assist the newly forming Advisory Committee for our Open Government and Civic Technology Facebook Group, send me a note.

E-Democracy was a small civic spark in 1994. Today, it is steady flame in a world swirling with explosions related too often to the negative uses of technology and social media in society and politics. As the social media world around us generates heat, threatens civility in democracy, and often tears our communities a part based on difference, let us find a way to see the light of not just what is easily possible, but what is seemly impossible but essential for strong communities and vibrant democracies in the digital era.

Sincerely,
Steven Clift
Founder and Executive Director, E-Democracy.org

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