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Weingartner Digital Citizenship Forum to examine government in the Internet age

  • dotDemocracy
    dotDemocracy
    William & Mary will host the 2014 Weingartner Digital Citizenship Forum on Feb. 11

William & Mary will host the 2014 Weingartner Digital Citizenship Forum on Feb. 11, gathering experts from across the technology industry to explore how the Internet can affect government and political culture.

The event is presented by dotDemocracy and will be held in Brinkley Commons in the Mason School of Business from 5 to 8:30 pm. DotDemocracy and the Digital Citizenship Forum are made possible by the generosity of Werner Weingartner and the Weingartner Global Initiative administered by the Roy R. Charles Center for Academic Excellence at William & Mary.

DotDemocracy is a nonpartisan organization founded by eight students who were selected as Weingartner Policy Fellows in December 2012.

The one­-day conference will host several panelists discussing the potential for the Internet to enhance several aspects of the United States’ democracy -- civic engagement, civil discourse, an informed citizenry and delivery of government services, among others.

Panelists participating in the forum include alumnus Nicco Mele ‘99, founder of Echo Ditto, adjunct lecturer at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government; Adam Conner from Facebook; Sam Novey from TurboVote; Max Novendstern from Our Common Place; Anthea Watson Strong from Google and former director of voter services for Barack Obama; and Katie Dowd, former senior advisor to the U.S. chief technology officer and current director of digital strategy for Hillary Clinton at the Clinton Foundation. Their discussion of the power of the Internet to enhance democratic citizenship will also incorporate questions from the audience. The team from dotDemocracy will live tweet the event.

After the discussion, the forum will present the finalists of the 2014 Weingartner Digital Citizenship Challenge. These six high school and college students from around the country were picked out of hundreds of applicants for their innovative answer to this question: “What is your proposal for helping make the Internet an even better tool of democratic citizenship?” After a brief video presentation of these ideas the panelists will announce the winners.

The event, which includes a dinner, is open to the public. People who plan on attending should RSVP at www.dotdemocracy.org.