Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

The Europe Roundup: PdF Meetup Everywhere - in Europe, Too!

BY Antonella Napolitano | Monday, July 11 2011

  • PdF Meetup Everywhere - in Europe, Too!
    July 12th (tomorrow!) is Worldwide PdF Meetup Day!
    It's an experiment and an opportunity to come together with fellow PdFers in your community, people who are excited by how technology is changing politics, government and civic life. So far, we have 50 meetups all around the world and many of them are in Europe!
    Here's the list of the main ones:

    Here's the full list, find the nearest one and let us know what you think!

  • A Call for Open Government Data Principles
    Jonathan Gray, Community Coordinator at the Open Knowledge Foundation, calls for a set of international open government data principles:

    We want to make sure we can easily tell data which is open from data which is not open. Why do we need to make sure that we agree on what ‘open data’ means? Because we want to minimise friction in the data ecosystem. We want an open data ecosystem without borders, barriers, restrictions, exceptions, checklists, registration forms, clickwrap agreements or micro-payments. 

    Gray compares open government principles from several countries, NGOs and organizations (including the Sunlight Foundation’s 10 Open Data Principles) and argues that if the open data community wants to scale it needs to rely on a set of simple principles that can be a guide and a framework for future initiatives:

    A set of international open government data principles would enshrine some of these ideas into a few clear and simple sentences saying what open data is – and have some mechanism for public bodies around the world to sign on. The key thing is that they would be drafted and adopted by leading open data initiatives around the world – who would also help to encourage others to adopt them.

  • EU | Social Innovation in Europe: What's Going On?
    What's happening in Europe when it comes to social innovation?
    The Social Innovation Europe initiative is an effort funded by the European Commission’s DG Enterprise to create a streamline on social innovation in Europe and become a hub in this field:

    "[it] will work to connect policy makers, entrepreneurs, academics and third sector workers with other innovators from across Europe. It is our goal to become a hub—a meeting place in the network of European networks—where innovative thinkers from all 27 member states can come together to create a streamlined, vigorous social innovation field in Europe, to raise a shared voice, and to propel Europe to lead the practice of social innovation globally."

    The project is run by a consortium of partners including Euclid Network and the Danish Technological Institute and led by the Social Innovation eXchange (SIX), at the Young Foundation.
    SIE is building this streamline using three approaches:

    Firstly, we will research and publish a series of reports and recommendations for action which will define, analyze and support the best work in the field. [...] The final report, which will make recommendations for social innovation’s “Future Directions” in Europe, will be published in June of 2012. 

    Secondly, the initiative will host this online hub. This site aims to be an indispensible resource providing the latest information on European social innovation—a clearinghouse featuring interviews with prominent innovators, case studies of successful ventures, the latest research, and in-depth analysis from the leading thinkers in the field. [...] 

    Finally, we will host a series of events across Europe to bring social innovators together offline and build partnerships across countries and across sectors. At events in Belgium (March 2011), Poland (December 2011) and Denmark (September 2012), industry leaders will share strengths, challenges, and direction of the social innovation field.

    The SIE initiative started in January 2011 and will run over 2 years, until December 2012.
    [hat tip to Jon Worth]

Plus
Google+ and 155 years of social network analysis

Transparency and Public Shaming: Pakistan Tackles Tax Evasion

In Pakistan, where only one in 200 citizens files their income tax return, authorities published a directory of taxpayers' details for the first time. Officials explained the decision as an attempt to shame defaulters into paying up.

GO

wednesday >

Facebook Seeks Approval as Financial Service in Ireland. Is the Developing World Next?

On April 13 the Financial Times reported that Facebook is only weeks away from being approved as a financial service in Ireland. Is this foray into e-money motivated by Facebook's desire to conquer the developing world before other corporate Internet giants do? Maybe.

GO

The Rise and Fall of Iran's “Blogestan”

The robust community of Iranian bloggers—sometimes nicknamed “Blogestan”—has shrunk since its heyday between 2002 – 2010. “Whither Blogestan,” a recent report from the University of Pennsylvania's Iran Media Program sought to find out how and why. The researchers performed a web crawling analysis of Blogestan, survey 165 Persian blog users, and conducted 20 interviews with influential bloggers in the Persian community. They found multiple causes of the decline in blogging, including increased social media use and interference from authorities.

GO

tuesday >

Weekly Readings: What the Govt Wants to Know

A roundup of interesting reads and stories from around the web. GO

Russia to Treat Bloggers Like Mass Media Because "the F*cking Journalists Won't Stop Writing"

The worldwide debate over who is and who isn't a journalist has raged since digital media made it much easier for citizen journalists and other “amateurs” to compete with the big guys. In the United States, journalists are entitled to certain protections under the law, such as the right to confidential sources. As such, many argue that blogging should qualify as journalism because independent writers deserve the same legal protections as corporate employees. In Russia, however, earning a place equal to mass media means additional regulations and obligations, which some say will lead to the repression of free speech.

GO

Politics for People: Demanding Transparent and Ethical Lobbying in the EU

Today the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU) launched a campaign called Politics for People that asks candidates for the European Parliament to pledge to stand up to secretive industry lobbyists and to advocate for transparency. The Politics for People website connects voters with information about their MEP candidates and encourages them to reach out on Facebook, Twitter or by email to ask them to sign the pledge.

GO

monday >

Security Agencies Given Full Access to Telecom Data Even Though "All Lebanese Can Not Be Suspects"

In late March, Lebanese government ministers granted security agencies unrestricted access to telecommunications data in spite of some ministers objections that it violates privacy rights. Global Voices reports that the policy violates Lebanon's existing surveillance and privacy law, Law 140, but has gotten little coverage from the country's mainstream media.

GO

friday >

In Google Hangout, NYC Mayor de Blasio Talks Tech and Outer Borough Potential

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio followed the lead of President Obama and New York City Council member Ben Kallos Friday by participating in a Google Hangout to help mark his first 100 days in office, in which the conversation focused on expanding access to technology opportunities through education and ensuring that the needs of the so-called "outer boroughs" aren't overlooked. GO

More