Is the Future of Democracy Digital?

We will have a public debate with a panel of experts from academia and practice titled "Is the future of democracy digital?".

Digital innovations are radically transforming democracy. Locally, initiatives such as participatory budgeting in urban neighborhoods are harnessing the potential of digital platforms to amplify the voices of citizens. At a national level, mass protests are organized through online social networks. On an international level, in 2021, the European Comission organized the Conference on the Future of Europe, enabling citizens from across Europe to deliberate with each other. Deliberations took place on a dedicated online platform, attracting over 5 million visitors. As these examples show, digitalisation has helped governments and citizens to enhance inclusivity and boost engagement.

Nevertheless, there is still much work to be done in designing and adopting digital technology in such a way as improve democratic practices. To do so in a principled and evidence-based manner, a collaboration between practice and science is necessary. In this panel, we open up the conversation between scientists, practitioners and the audience. We will investigate the role citizens should play in developing digital democracy, the biggest challenges scientists should address, and which findings deserve more attention in order to enhance the benefits of digital democracy.

The panel discussion will be recorded and broadcasted on

Which questions should be discussed during the Digital Democracy Panel?

In the spirit of digital democracy, we let the audience help determine the content of the panel discussion. How? Upload your questions or ideas on our All Our Ideas page, and vote for those that you think are most pressing!

Are you an EUR student?

We are raffling off 10 vouchers worth 15 euros to spend at the Erasmus Plaza for Erasmus University students that submit a question. For a chance to win, complete this form

Practical details:

Date: Wednesday April 10th, 2024
Time: from 16:00 to 17:30
Location: Senaatszaal, Erasmus Building, Campus Woudestein, Erasmus University (Mr. Dr. K.P. van der Mandeleplein, Rotterdam)

Valerie Frissen
- Moderator -

CEO SIDN Fund, Professor of Digital Technologies and
Social Change
(SIDN, Leiden University)

Anouk De Meulemeester
Government Success Manager

Davide Grossi

Computer scientist in multi-agent
(RUG and UvA Universities)

Ivonne Jansen-Dings

Strategic Advisor on Technology, Society and Ethics,
Founder at Code for NL
(Province of Zuid-Holland, Code for NL)

Olya Kudina
Ethicist of Technology
(TU Delft)

Panel members bios

Valerie Frissen (moderator)

Valerie Frissen is a beautiful example of bridging theory and practice, having a rich history of working both in the internet industry and academia. Currently, Valerie Frissen is professor of Digital Technologies and Social Change at Leiden University.
Furthermore, she is CEO of SIDN fund, which supports projects that contribute to a stronger internet. 

Anouk De Meulemeester

Anouk De Meulemeester is Government Success Manager for Belgium at CitizenLab, a company that has developed a platform to facilitate online and offline citizen participation in cities and municipalities worldwide. Anouk has an academic background in history and political science at Ghent University and has professional expertise in negotiation and citizen participation at the European level. Today she manages an extensive Belgian portfolio at CitizenLab and helps her clients to set up their own citizen participation projects via the CitizenLab platform.

Davide Grossi

Davide Grossi has a long-standing interest in group decision-making. Through his research he focuses on how we can model these processes and support them algorithmically. Davide Grossi is associate professor in Multi-Agent Decision-Making at the University of Groningen and at the University of Amsterdam. 

Ivonne Jansen-Dings

Ivonne Jansen-Dings works as a strategic advisor for the Province of Zuid-Holland, designing The Hague’s ethical policy for shared digital spaces. Next to that, she is founder of Code for NL, a Dutch network for developers and designers working on an open and fair transformation of the government. 

Olya Kudina

Olya Kudina is an ethicist of technology, which means that she studies the interaction between values and technologies. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor at TU Delft, where she co-directs the AI DeMoS Lab. The aim of this lab is to develop artificial intelligence for democracy.