1. From promise trackers to participatory budgeting — and everything in between: TICTeC 2019

    We’ve just shared the schedule for our Impacts of Civic Technology conference, TICTeC, and in all honesty? We’re excited.

    It’s almost complete, but we’ll be adding a few more details of additional sessions once they’re confirmed. We’re also expecting a number of side events to spring up, too. Yes, that’s right, TICTeC has grown a fringe!

    TICTeC has been growing in momentum since its beginnings in 2014. This year, once again, thanks to a higher number of submissions than ever — and the increasing quality of those submissions — you’ll experience an unsurpassed line-up of speakers, each with deep insights into the field.

    Tickets are going faster than ever before: more than half of them are sold already, and and we expect to sell out well before the event, so don’t delay if you’re hoping to join us in Paris: register now.

    Our keynotes

    Each day will kick off with an inspiring presentation from a standout practitioner that has brought significant change through Civic Tech projects.

    On day one Alessandra Orofino, founder of Nossas, will speak about her project to empower citizens throughout Latin America; day two begins with Bloomberg PhilanthropiesJames Anderson explaining how a global network of mayors are sharing technologies to improve cities worldwide.

    Themes

    As always, TICTeC examines projects from across the Civic Tech field; but each year, certain themes emerge that reflect the current preoccupations of society more broadly.

    Image by Patrice Calatayou - Gilets Jaune marching in Paris

    The French experience

    Thanks to generous support from the OECD, our venue is the beautiful OECD Headquarters & Conference Centre in Paris. It’s fitting that, during the two days, we’ll hear a lot from those making a difference in the French context.

    Speakers include Pauline Véron, Deputy Mayor of Paris and member of the Socialiste party; Paula Forteza, MP with En Marche! and Tatiana de Feraudy from Décider ensemble.

    They’ll be not only giving us a good overview of Civic Tech in France, but also looking at how digital democracy might be the key to the issues raised by the Gilets Jaunes uprising.

    Image by Daniel Latour: a room full of citizens partaking in a PB session

    The wisdom of crowds

    As concepts such as Participatory Budgeting reach maturity, we can now stand back and assess what works well and what doesn’t, when you turn to the citizenry for decision-making.

    Theo Bass from Nesta in the UK will examine online deliberation tools; Benjamin Snow from Germany’s Civocracy will give an honest look at what you can do when citizen consultation tools launch with a sizzle rather than a bang. Thanks to Reboot‘s Panthea Lee and Gil Pradeau from the University of Westminster, we’ll get a look at Participatory Budgeting in both the US and France.

    Tackling extremism

    Extremism, and its spread via digital means, are of course of huge concern across many different countries.

    We’ll hear from the USA’s National Democratic Institute on how Civic Tech might tackle political polarisation; and from the UK’s Full Fact on how machine learning can simplify the factchecker’s job. Marko Skoric from Hong Kong will examine whether blocking, filtering and unfriending on social media actually adds to division.

    This very current concern is sure to be in evidence right across many of the other sessions, too.

    Image by Ken Douglas - sunrise over urban silhouettes

    The urban experience

    Taking a cue from James’ keynote, we’ll see many examinations of Civic Tech in the city, from Jose Alberto Gomez of Mexico on better mobile apps for fault reporting; to analyses of Civic Tech in diverse urban areas from the Centre for Conflict and Participation Studies in Italy. And our hosts OECD will be presenting the concept of an urban barometer.

    Impactful Civic Tech projects

    Luminate are one of several participants in a panel which examines Civic Tech in Latin America for a wider understanding of applicable insights. Jasmina Haynes from Integrity Action in the UK will present the Nepalse experience on how to check whether grants are doing everything the funders hoped they would. And several more sessions will have an emphasis on ensuring initiatives are impactful.

    TICTeC 2018

    And more

    With three to four tracks running each day, there’s plenty to choose from — including a look at the issues that arise in long-running Civic Tech projects, by mySociety’s own developer Matthew Somerville — so make sure to have a browse through the schedule for a full picture of what to expect.

    Act now

    And then, we can’t stress this enough: book your ticket, or you might be too late.

    Images: Gilets jaunes Patrice Calatayu (CC-by-sa/2.0); Capital budgeting session Daniel Latorre (CC by/2.0);

    Urban dawn Ken Douglas (CC by-nc-nd/2.0)

  2. TICTeC 2019 keynote speaker: James Anderson

    When you realise that borrowing ideas is not a sign of weakness, but as Bloomberg Philanthropies‘ James Anderson puts it ‘a badge of honour’, you can really maximise the benefits for cities — and their citizens — around the world.

    That’s the thinking behind the Government Innovation programs James heads up: despite the diversity of the world’s cities, it’s undeniable that they are facing many of the same problems, from climate change to low civic participation, from pollution to health issues.

    If a scheme in one city is driving forward sustainability, growth or efficiency, why expect others to reinvent the wheel hundreds of times? It makes perfect sense to pass on the findings about what works and what doesn’t to other cities facing similar issues.

    Among other initiatives, James is responsible for forging a global network of mayors in 290 cities across 25 countries, to share knowledge and technology around areas as diverse as bike-sharing schemes, measures against childhood obesity and urban sprawl, tackling corruption, encouraging recycling, and many many more.

    You can tap into Bloomberg Philanthropies’ vision and James’ own hands-on experience by coming to our conference on the impacts of civic technology, TICTeC. James is the second of our keynote speakers (see Alessandro Orofino, our other keynote here), and we know that he’ll be offering inspirational and tangible takeaways from a perspective that’s highly relevant for our times.

    Make sure you don’t miss out: book your ticket to TICTeC now.

  3. TICTeC 2019 keynote speaker: Alessandra Orofino

    Need a bit of inspiration in these turbulent political times? You’ll get it in spades from ‘urban activist’ Alessandra Orofino, the first of our confirmed keynote speakers for TICTeC 2019.

    Founder of Meu Rio (My Rio), Alessandra hasn’t just brought about change herself; she first gave 160,000 residents in her native city of Rio de Janeiro the power to do it for themselves, with an array of digital tools that facilitate campaigns, civic engagement and participation, and then went on to found the even more ambitious Nossas to unroll similar initiatives across several other Brazilian cities.

    Each calls itself a network of inclusion for a more democratic, inclusive and sustainable city, allowing people to organise around causes and places they care about. The vast majority of its members are in their twenties — as is Alessandra herself.

    At mySociety, we talk a lot about giving people the tools they need to be active citizens, and Nossas is a shining example of what you can achieve on that front. Stacy Donahue of Luminate — the philanthropic organisation supporting technology that empowers people and institutions to build just and fair societies — thinks so too, calling Alessandra an inspiring role model amongst investees.

    Meu Rio saw early successes such as preventing a school from being replaced by a carpark for the World Cup; and the introduction of a new missing persons system for the police, to deal with a chronic lack of information around a major issue for the city. Now, similar breakthroughs are being made on a regular basis by its sister organisations under the Nossas banner.

    If this can be done for cities as large and diverse as Rio de Janeiro, Recife, Porto Alegre and São Paulo, then why not everywhere? Book your ticket for TICTeC now, and learn what it will take to empower citizens in your own locality — directly from one who has done it herself.


    Image: TED conference (CC by-nc/2.0)

  4. Join us in Paris for TICTeC 2019

    We’re delighted to announce that TICTeC 2019, our fifth conference on the Impacts of Civic Technology, will be in Paris on 19 and 20 March 2019.

    Stick that in your diaries now, we’d love for you to join us.

    TICTeC is an annual milestone in the Civic Tech world, bringing together researchers, practitioners, and all those with an interest in how technology is changing the way we engage with society.

    Primarily, the goal of TICTeC is to promote and share rigorous and meaningful research into civic technologies and digital democracy around the world. The conference facilitates discussion and networking amongst individuals and groups to find real-world solutions through sharing evidence of impact, and (importantly) evidence of what doesn’t work.

    Call for Papers now open

    If you’d like to give a presentation or run a workshop at TICTeC 2019, please submit your proposals now. You have until Friday 11th January 2019.

    Register

    For the last two years TICTeC has sold out – so make sure you get tickets early. Early bird tickets provide a significant discount, so it’s well worth registering before early bird ticket sales end on Friday 8th February 2019.

    Sponsor

    If you’d like to support TICTeC to bring together the world’s best Civic Technology researchers and practitioners, there are many different sponsorship opportunities available. Please visit our sponsorship page for more details, or contact gemma@mysociety.org for more information.

    Keep an eye on the TICTeC website for full details of proceedings as they are announced.

    We look forward to seeing you in March in beautiful Paris! Meanwhile, if you’d like to see what TICTeC is all about, you can browse all the resources from this year’s TICTeC and/or watch this video overview:

    Photo by Grillot edouard on Unsplash