The RSA is looking to explore the political culture and norms that the internet has been instrumental in fostering, both in relation to centralised democratic politics, and more diffuse social and civic networks.
Our view is that the high hopes of the 90s for e-democracy and new forms of on-line consultation and community mobilisation have not been fully met.
Rather than fostering new forms of constructive engagement, dialogue and 'pro-social' community action, the type of politics most favoured by the internet seems to be conversations between fellow believers, anti-establishment cynicism and single issue mobilisation.
Too many attempts by public authorities to use the web simply involved putting existing information and processes on-line.
The communication model has mostly been vertical and mainly downward. But we think the emergence of what many are calling Web 2.0 offers an opportunity to revive the idealism of a decade ago. We can envisage Web 2.0 encouraging a rich and constructive dialogue in which citizens deliberate, innovate and act together.
This conference will ask: How can new internet technologies empower us to interact with each other in novel ways?
Professor Cass Sunstein, Karl N. Llewellyn Dist. Service Prof. of Jurisprudence, Law School, Dept. of Political Science and the College, University of Chicago
Tom Steinberg, Founder and Director, mySociety and former policy analyst
Andrew Chadwick, Senior Lecturer in Political Science, Royal Holloway, University of London
William Davies, Goldsmiths, University of London
Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive, RSA
Bronwyn Kunhardt, Former Director of Citizenship, Microsoft
Georgina Henry, Editor, Comment is Free & Editor, The Guardian
Location: RSA, 8 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6EZ
Date: 25 May 2007
When & Where
The RSA combines thought leadership with social innovation to further human progress. We undertake influential and varied research projects. Our work is supported by 27,000 Fellows, an international network of influencers and innovators from every field and background.