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OSOS Update #2 Monday 12.45

Democracy stream

After morning tea, it’s been all about democracy, with Taiwanese heavy hitter Audrey Tang, followed up by a workshop (really, a panel discussion) to warm up the open democracy stream. By the way: democracy is going to be my focus for these updates. Wherever there’s a session on how open source can make better government, that’s where I’m going to be for the next two days.

But first up: slam poetry! Ali Jacs provided the perfect segue. My photos packed a sad. You’ll get a better sense on her website.

I’ve referred to her as a hactivist, but - in her own words - “online facilitation, that’s what I’m expert in.” She spoke at intriguing length about numerous accomplishments the Taiwanese government has made, largely with her help.

Here are some soundbites:
“Taiwan had almost 40 years of marshall law, a dictatorship. Lifted in 1980. The year of the personal computer. The first presidential election 1996, the year of the internet. For us, the internet and democracy are not different things. They’re the same thing.”

“We just do our own budget, so when it’s time for the government to do it’s budget, they just cherry pick our work.” Much applause.

“When we [in Taiwan] hear free software, we hear freedom. And only incidentally, something free of charge.”

“We collect all the facts, and ask people how they feel about the facts. No right or wrong. How you feel is important. And then we ask for ideas. Only the best ideas get ratified into regulation.”

“Facebook is a singularity, where people all listen to people like them. Better to have a blended coalition.”

“We need a democracy which is not hijacked by ideology, where people listen to each other, and take care of each other.”

Then it was time for the workshop, a panel discussion with Laura O’Connel Rapira from Action Station, journo & analyst Max Rushbrooke, Audrey Tang, and facilitator Richard Bartlett.

Now we’re into “Government and open data ninja”, Pia Waugh. Righto!

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