Frederik Van De Putte, Assistant Professor, has co-launched the European Digital DemocracY network (EDDY). This network aims to bring together academics and practitioners working on or with digital democracy.
What are the potential benefits and pitfalls of digital tools for democracy? How are such tools currently being used to enhance or enable participation at local, national, or global levels? Where do social media harm democratic values, and how may such media be used to strengthen those values? Who will miss out on democracy, if we make it more digital?
These questions call for an interdisciplinary approach and are both societally and scientifically relevant. However, there is still a lack of communication and cross-pollination between the different sciences relevant for the subject - computer science, philosophy, sociology, political science, amongst others - and between the academic world and the practitioners working at NGOs, or at municipalities and other government levels.
EDDY's principal aim is to further advance digital democracy, by promoting connections and collaborations between theorists and practitioners. In particular, the network will organize quarterly online meetups and live meetings. EDDY will also set up a crowdsourced knowledge repository on digital democracy and maintain a mailing list to help communication among members and to alert them of events or achievements related to digital democracy.
The first online meetup will be on participatory budgeting and takes place on February 16th, 17h00 CEST (Berlin). Invited speakers are Brian Wampler (Boise State University), as well as Skadi Renooij and Renske Poelma (Municipality of Amsterdam).
Frederik Van De Putte has set up this network jointly with a small, interdisciplinary group of young researchers and practitioners: Arianna Novaro (Paris), Jan Maly (UvA), Marijn Keijzer (Toulouse), and Tessel Rensenbrink (Netwerk Democratie). By its own nature, EDDY is very much open to suggestions on topics for events, as well as for collaborations and newcomers.