New Democracy #12: Implementing Digital Democracy

What can we learn from Iceland and other European cities when implementing digital democracy in the Netherlands?

While Europe and America are sinking deeper and deeper into populism and media politics, the potential of digital participation tools is growing. Opposed to referenda and elections, these digital platforms offer spaces for deliberation, information exchange and transparent decision-making, which are highly needed aspects to save current democracies from crashing. This evening we will enter the digital sphere to have a look at the tools and instruments that can attribute to the transition towards a New Democracy.

Your Priorities
Right at the moment that traditional ways of participation display their incapability to engage citizens, successful digital participation tools offer us the opportunity to finally update our democracy to the age of social media. Róbert Bjarnason from the Citizens Foundation in Iceland will share his experiences with implementing the successful e-tool ‘Your Priorities’ in the city government of Reykjavik. How can we use this example from Iceland to speed up the transition to digital democracy in the Netherlands? Together with Dutch experts in digital democracy we discuss the momentum of e-democracy in the Netherlands.

Róbert Bjarnason

Róbert Bjarnason, president and co-founder of the Citizens Foundation in Iceland will share his experiences with the implementation of the Your Priorities platform in Reykjavik. ‘Your Priorities’ enables citizens to submit ideas, bring in arguments for and against them, prioritize the best ideas and get these discussed in the city council. Bjarnason is a successful entrepreneur that introduced the web to Iceland in 1993 and in 1995 to Denmark. Before co-founding the non-profit Citizens Foundation he innovated in the online gaming industry where his team received many industry awards including two BAFTA awards. The Citizens Foundation develops open source tools and methods to promote online, democratic debate and to increase citizens’ participation in their community in Iceland and worldwide. The key goals is to increase trust and help communities make better decisions.


Denis Roio, also known as Jaromil, is a researcher in philosophy of technology and a software artisan. His creations are recommended by the Free Software Foundation and redistributed worldwide, while he is also an active contributor to media theory discourses. Since the year 2000 Jaromil dedicates his efforts to build, a non-profit software house gathering the contributions of a growing number of artisans and socially engaged developers.

This event is in English.
Location: Pakhuis de Zwijger, Piet Heinkade 179, Amsterdam
Entry is free, please sign up via Pakhuis de Zwijger. You can also attend on Facebook.

This evening is part of the Dutch digital democracy project of the Dutch Ministry of Interior and Kingdom relations together with Netwerk Democratie and Waag society. The aim of this project is to boost the use of digital participation tools in the Netherlands by tapping into already successfully used e-democracy tools throughout Europe.

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