This was an ideal week to be Paris. mySociety chose the French capital for the the sixth edition of TICTeC, the Impacts of Civic Technology Conference. This was my third time at this conference which is aimed at promoting and sharing rigorous and meaningful research into online technologies and digital democracy around the world. In this edition, I gave a talk with my colleague Virgile Deville (Open Source Politics) in a session entitled “Getting the people engaged: what Civic Tech can and can’t do“, which included insightful findings from Panthea Lee (Reboot) and Gil Pradeau (University of Westminster). While these other talks largely focused on participatory budgeting processes, we disseminated the transition process from Decidim Barcelona to Decidim, the political hypotheses which inspire the project, and the validation of such hypotheses through the extension of Decidim within the French civic tech ecosystem.
In addition to this, the think-tank Décider ensemble organized a pre-conference workshop about civic tech and citizen engagement in France. Despite most session addressed trending political topics in France (Le Grand Débat National, Gilet Jaunes movement, etc.), the goal of the closing session was to compare civic tech ecosystems around the world. To do so, different experiences were presented: the open government toolkit navigator by Karine Badr (OECD), the Taiwan civic tech ecosystem by Fiorella Bourgeois (EHESS), the changing face of civic tech by Mark Cridge (mySociety), and the Metadecidim and decidim-gov experiences by me.