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[Save the Date] Do Technologies Strengthen or Weaken Democracies?

Do technologies strengthen or weaken democracies? If the former, then what tools, methods, and practices are needed to create sustainable environments where communities can develop and the cities and governments can thrive? If the latter, then what can be done to avoid the pitfalls of the technological utopianism? Finally, what can we, the citizens of Central and Eastern Europe, do with our own hands to put technology on the service of the society?

In order to answer these tough questions, Common Europe Foundation and Eastbook.eu are proud to announce that they will be co-organizers of the important technology/democracy-related events that will take place in Warsaw in March 2014.

1. Democracy and Technology: Talks

On March 14, 2014, Common Europe Foundation will moderate the discussion panel “How to Strengthen Civic Movements in Eastern Europe?” at the Personal Democracy Forum CEE PL 2014, a massive event aimed to explore the interaction between open internet and open democracy in the region. A year ago, in 2013, Personal Democracy Forum, organized by ePaństwo Foundation and Personal Democracy Media hosted over 300 participants.

This year, Common Europe Foundation together with Russia-focused project Teplitsa of Social Technologies brings to Warsaw leaders of the Eastern European cyber civil society initiatives:

  • Dmytro Gnap (Ukraine), investigative reporter, one of the key persons behind the critically acclaimed hromadske.tv, citizen television that covered most of the Euromaidan events;
  • Svetlana Zalishcyuk (Ukraine), a journalist, activist and initiator of number of influential civic campaigns in Ukraine, including the CHESNO movement, the New Citizen civic platform, and the journalist movement Stop Censorship!;
  • Tata Peklun (Ukraine), an investigative journalist, coordinates Chesno.org (honest) portal that monitors Ukrainians Rada (parliament) deputies;
  • Roman Udot (Russia), representative of the closed­ down Election Observation Association “Golos,” Udot was the key person behind the “Violation Map” (tool that allowed to report election violations) and other projects;
  • Maksim Dubinin (Russia), is one of Russia’s most prolific Open Geo Data enthusiasts. His portfolio lists more than 50 geodata­related projects, including mapping of 30 thousand election commissions (together with Golos Association), 5,500 orphanages, “Metro4All,” massive accessibility project, and others;
  • Gleb Kanounnikou (Belarus), creator of the Minsk hackerspace community, organizer social hackathons for web developers, open source activists, electronic gadget makers, architects and anyone interested in the intersection of online and offline, culture and technologies.

Aside from organizing the panel, Common Europe Foundation will bring other notable speakers (follow Eastbook.eu for further updates and interview with key persons of the event).

Register for participation at the Personal Democracy Forum now!

2. Technology and Democracy: Actions

In March we will not only speak about the relations of technology and democracy in the region. We will, actually, try to do something.

Common Europe Foundation, from the very beginning of its activity, brought attention to web-technologies as powerful tools of addressing issues of democracy and civil society, introducing such projects as multi-language bottom-up blog Eastbook.eu, crowdsourced map NGOmap.eu, and “Build Democracy” flash game.

On March 15-16th, 2014, Common Europe Foundation co-organizes the Central Open Data Hackathon (international coding marathon for social activists, programmers and designers). The participants are offered to create applications for the civil society. What is particularly interesting for our readers is that it is a great opportunity to build trans-border applications and address common issues in many countries.

Common Europe Foundation together with ePaństwo Foundation brings in experienced mentors in order to help teams to build successful pro-democracy and pro-civil society projects that would unite the region.

Join us in words and actions in March in Warsaw.

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Stay tuned! Soon more to come about these great events on Eastbook.eu!

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