Part 3 – The Future of Civic Engagement

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In these tumultuous political and economic times it makes one wonder if the current technological systems of governance, risk, and compliance are truly working in the favor of humanity. I had the opportunity over the years to speak and exchange emails with many people on the question, “How has technology changed politics?” I have yet to find someone who did not have an opinion on technology or politics for they both feed from the well of human ideas and change to maintain their meaningful utilization. It is readily apparent technology and politics have clashed, with the impacts of technology on the 2008 and 2012 U.S. elections.  In additional the “Arab Spring”, “Occupy”, and the current events going on in Hong Kong are emblematic as people become more connected, informed, and enabled through communications technologies to see injustice, feel injustice, and demand change.

In the future, leveraging technology that disintermediates people from the often times emotional process of legislation by leveraging game theory concepts is at the cutting edge of governance. It is not out of the realm of possibility to measure the requisite emotional temperature of the crowd to better judge sentiment on issues and collective interests. This revelation that people, through technology, will be able to contribute to the governance, risk, and compliance process in ways we have yet to imagine and I believe in everything new, there is always something old.

The Athenians around 500 BC leveraged a form of democracy where the citizenry were direct contributors to the policy development process.(162) The Athenians did not elect representatives to vote on their behalf. With the current political sentiment in the United States and many other countries of the world, I believe the possibility exists that our governance, risk, and compliance mechanisms may directionally go this Athenian Democracy direction, however it will have a much different texture thanks to data privacy and security laws enabled by security that enables us to be secure in who we are digitally. It is our collective responsibility to know thy digital self and to thy own digital self be true.

If we are to seek change, in my next post lets look at what John Kotter who is the worlds leading scholar on “Change”, thinks.

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