Basic elements of techpolitics

So many try to reinvent the wheel when it comes to techpolitics in Europe – we need to get better at learning from each other, across borders!

I will explain more eventually, but here is my attempt to visualize (in a pretty nitty-gritty way) some of the basic elements of techpolitics. These elements are in some kind of way up for discussions in most western countries these days:

That was one of my thoughts as we in Origo organized a very interesting workshop in Oslo last week, Dugnadssamfunnet 2.0 (translated the Collaborative Society), in cooperation with the Ministry of Government Administration and Reform.

The purpose was to gather people interested in private and public innovation, digital participation, and new tech tools, get inspired from thought provoking speakers and discuss ideas in the workshop – essentially kind of a mini-PDF in Norway. I’ve written about it here and here (Google Translate from Norwegian).

Our speakers were Håkon Wium Lie, CTO at Opera Software, who talked about the importance of open and available data. The UK-based political innovator Simon Dickson spoke about the need for innovation in the way politicians communiate with citizens, while Nikki Timmermans explained how her company had organized innovation competitions for the Dutch Ministry of Culture since 2002. Olav Anders Øverbø told about how he has mapped public data in Norway and what he has found.

Afterwards in the workshop, we discussed these and more detailed techpolitics issues, and people got really engaged. I’m convinced we should have more kind of events like this in Norway/Oslo, and I’m absolutely convinced a Scandinavian Personal Democracy Forum could be doable.

But as Simon Dickson wrote in his blog after the event – “it’s the fact that we’re all seeing the same opportunities, and facing the same hurdles”, he wrote and was referring to the ongoing debate about the fight for access to public  maps, both in the UK and Norway.

As I wrote in a previous blog post, I went to the first European Personal Democracy Conference in Barcelona in November (which I wrote about here and here), and that conference is a clear proof that we need to learn more from each other. Despite language barriers and cultural difference, so many political environments are experiencing  similar discussions, and we need to learn from the best examples in different countries. And by having a more structured look at techpolitics, it gets easier to sort out good solutions.

Ex a ministry wants to test out some ideas – which are the best idea management systems and why? An organization wants go provide supporters with a better tool to self-organize and meet up – are there any other and better alternatives than in your country? would be the answer in Norway.

How can this model be improved? What other elements should be included? What examples would you like to add in each of the circles? Other ideas?

(A big nod to my friends at for a great company name:-)

2 thoughts on “Basic elements of techpolitics

  1. That’s very interesting. Unfortunately the point in my country (Italy) is how far we are from the rest of Europe. I guess there’s very little example to take from Italy, right?

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