While pottering around the workshop this afternoon building another Bubblino for a customer, I've had the Downloading Democracy 2013 debate on in the background. There were some really interesting points raised, particularly from Catherine Howe, but also from the other panellists and some of the audience. It's worth a watch if you're into citizenship or democracy.
I found it via a blog post introducing Lobbi from David Wilcox. I'm less convinced about Lobbi itself - my first impression is that it's someone throwing Web 2.0 buzzwords at politics, but I could be wrong.
There are real challenges with the digital divide, but also with building a system that doesn't just replace one elite with a geek elite instead - it's not just about getting people online, it's about who understands the technology at a deeper level, and ensuring that they don't gain an unfair advantage from that (and not by holding them back - more by informing and helping everyone else do the same).
All of which led me to wondering what sort of civic democracy discussions we should be having. And how we should be having them. I'd love it if there was a debate (or a series of debates) where a panel of Francis Irving, Dan Lynch, Maria Barrett and maybe one of the local MPs and some more "off-line" community members discussed some of the issues and started to tease out how we might move towards a more inclusive and better debate on society. Maybe chaired by David Bartlett or Stuart Wilks-Heeg.
Anyone want to organise it? Send me an invite when you get it sorted... ;-)