Event: Civic Engagement, Activism & New Media

The Loomio team are going to be taking part in an open discussion on the role of new media in civic engagement starting 6pm tonight at the Southern Cross in Wellington. If you can’t make it down to the meetup, you can at least catch some notes from the discussion in this document that we’ll all be collaboratively editing over the course of the evening: goo.gl/gYqs9

Here’s a quote from Here Comes Everybody by Clay Shirky that will give you a taste of what we’ll be talking about:

Our social tools are not an improvement to modern society; they are a challenge to it. New technology makes new things possible: put another way, when new technology appears, previously impossible things start occurring. If enough of those impossible things are important and happen in a bundle, quickly, the change becomes a revolution.

The hallmark of revolution is that the goals of revolutionaries cannot be contained by the institutional structure of the existing society. As a result, either the revolutionaries are put down, or some of those institutions are altered, replaced, or destroyed. We are plainly witnessing a restructuring of the media businesses, but their suffering isn’t unique, it’s prophetic. All businesses are media businesses, because whatever else they do, all businesses rely on the managing of information for two audiences – employees and the world. The increase in the power of both individuals and groups, outside traditional organizational structures, is unprecedented. Many institutions we rely on today will not survive this change without significant alteration, and the more an institution or industry relies on information as its core product, the greater and more complete the change will be. 

Author: Richard D. Bartlett

Loomio co-founder; open source hardware and software hacker; activist;

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