Róbert is a successful entrepreneur that introduced the web to Iceland in 1993 and in 1995 to Denmark. Before co-founding the nonprofit Citizens Foundation in the year 2008 he worked in the video game industry where his teams received many awards. The Citizens Foundation specializes in citizen participation and digital democracy. We have recently seen technology undermine faith in debate in the public arena; the Citizens Foundation believes that innovations in technology can be used to restore faith in democratic debate and institutions instead.
Digital solutions in governance have little meaning and use unless the people believe in the will and commitment of the decision-makers to put the people (citizens) at the centre. The aim of this workshop is to advance the knowledge and skills of the participants on engagement, policy and services development, and digital solutions, via practical examples showing the various ways digital engagement works in Estonia and other countries. We will discuss the topics of digital citizen engagement, trust and digital responsibility, what it is and what it means for the institutions as well as for the citizens, and how to raise awareness among the citizens about digital engagement. Kristina Reinsalu shares the Estonian experience of nudging citizens to be e-citizens and what are the main takeaways from this journey. Róbert Bjarnason demonstrates new platforms for digital engagement which are available for testing and use. Bardhyl Jashari presents the Western Balkan showcase from Increasing Civic Engagement in the Digital Agenda – ICEDA initiative. The participants are also active players in this workshop and they are encouraged to share their stories or dreams of digital engagement!