Here’s a checklist for increasing impact.

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Picture taken in Lisbon © Cathleen Berger

It’s generally accepted that democracy is in crisis worldwide, and that spaces for civic participation are shrinking. Meanwhile, the so-called “techlash” is polarising debates around how governments around the world should govern the internet and social media.

For years, I’ve heard people talk about fostering dialogue between diverse stakeholder groups and the importance of soliciting input from a wider range of voices. And yet, when it comes to developing comprehensive policies nearly everyone reverts back to engaging the networks and processes they know (and are comfortable with) instead of experimenting with new models for deliberation and decision-making.

I’ve worked across sectors, in government, the private sector, and civil society, which made it even more apparent to me: we are gridlocked. …

Would you be surprised if I told you #ricebunny and #metoo are the same thing? If so, I highly recommend listening to this Note To Self podcast that digs into the effects and manifestation of the me too movement in China — and that inspired me to write this post:

Harassment, hateful and violent speech, as well as their far-reaching, traumatising effects on people’s lives are part of our mainstream headlines these days. The majority of it is directed against women and underrepresented minorities. In a way, feminists will tell you that the inescapable onslaught of harassment on social media has merely raised awareness of the persistent structural discrimination pervading our societies beyond its immediate targets. …

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© Cathleen Berger

“Smart Cities sind nachhaltiger und integrierter Stadtentwicklung verpflichtet”, heißt es in der Smart City Charta von 2017, die ohne Frage einen umfassenden und durchaus begrüßenswerten Katalog an Handlungsanleitungen bereit stellt. Aber inwieweit lässt sich diese Vision realisieren und wo stößt die Utopie auf Hürden im praktischen Umgang mit Daten?

— Es handelt sich um eine leicht gekürzte Fassung einer Keynote, die ich am 18. September 2018 in Frankfurt/Main in der Smart City Arena des Bundeskongresses für nationale Stadtplanung gehalten habe. —

In der Theorie haben “Smart Cities” durchaus Potential: “[sie nutzen] Informations- und Kommunikationstechnologien, um auf der Basis von integrierten Entwicklungskonzepten kommunale Infrastrukturen, wie beispielsweise Energie, Gebäude, Verkehr, Wasser und Abwasser zu verknüpfen.” …


Cathleen Berger

Policy Expert, focusing on human rights in the digital age, tech and security policy, and international relations

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