Iceland: Where Citizens Govern via Facebook
Iceland has involved its citizens in many forms of crowdsourced government, said Icelandic journalist Paul Fontaine. “Apart from the National Assembly, which is definitely an example of crowdsourcing, there is also Better Reykjavik, and that is a very literal example of crowdsourcing. Suggestions are invited from the general public on this website about changes they would like to see to the city.”
Iceland recently drafted a new constitution, a noteworthy event (a) because new constitutions aren’t all that common and (b) because citizens were invited to participate via social networking sites. While not Iceland’s most pure example of crowdsourcing, the constitutional update made extensive use of public input.
In fact, Iceland has responded to the current financial crisis — which hit the small nation hard — by inviting the public to take part in a number of initiatives to improve government.
In this TechNewsWorld podcast, Paul Fontaine, an editor for the Reykjavik Grapevine, joins us from Iceland to talk about how the constitutional process unfolded. He also discusses what was gained — and potentially lost — when Iceland decided to incorporate the Web into its constitution.