Symposium: Shaping the Next Level of Digital Participation: Theories, Methods and Practices
26. Februar 2018 - 28. Februar 2018
Digital participation was one of the most promising areas of the Internet. Hailed as a savior for democracy – able to engage marginalized groups of society enrich debates and increase decision quality – participation has hit a barrier. At best, people engage in “slacktivism”, only taking minimal actions – sometimes with detrimental effects. The case of “Boaty McBoatface”, the result of an open innovation contest to name a British vessel, is a recent example of a failed participation effort.
However, research on digital participation is still producing promising novel concepts to engage citizens as well as employees. Thus, we propose that participation is a powerful means but has not reached its potential yet. In this symposium, we seek to locate current challenges and obstacles of digital participation in order to, then, create new visions for the future of participation that disrupt these boundaries. Adopting a holistic approach, we address both researchers as well as practitioners. We structure our symposium in three parts – each with a single, dedicated day. On the Theories day, participants present and explore new theoretical approaches to digital participation. On day two, the Methods day, participants learn new methods, presented by senior researchers. The can apply these new methods on sample cases or bring their own data. Finally, on the third day, practitioners present real-world cases, before participants present their own case studies. In effect, this day shows where applied research can already help digital participation – and where research gaps exist.