PLACESPEAK FOUNDER TO SPEAK AT 2023 GLOBAL DEMOCRACY FORUM
COLLEEN HARDWICK, PLACESPEAK FOUNDER, TO SPEAK AT 2023 GLOBAL FORUM ON DIRECT DEMOCRACY, MEXICO CITY
Digital technologies can make Democracy Real: Colleen Hardwick
Vancouver, BC (Feb 28, 2023): Former Vancouver city councillor Colleen Hardwick, the founder and CEO of PlaceSpeak, an award-winning public consultation technology, has been invited to speak at this week’s Global Forum on Direct Democracy in Mexico City, March 1-4. Hardwick was invited by Ireland’s Solonian Democracy Foundation to be part of an international panel on how digital technology is giving people power today.
The panel will focus on digital technologies that significantly increase public participation and help deepen democracy in such areas as participatory budgeting, public consultation, digital deliberation, online voting, and public petitions.
“Digital technologies have the potential to make democracy real online,” said Hardwick. “Technologies such as PlaceSpeak allow for authentic public engagement and evidence-based decision-making by individuals and communities, ultimately restoring trust in the democratic process. The four panelists are winners of SDI Digital Democracy Awards and we have an opportunity to present our software and discuss the state of digital democracy today and what the future holds.”
PlaceSpeak was developed beginning in 2011 by Hardwick with support from Canada’s National Research Council. The platform was originally created to determine how to consult with local residents online within specific geographical boundaries in a provable way. Online consultations were being manipulated by trolls, bots and other tactics intended to skew the appearance of majority positions. PlaceSpeak’s technology authenticates the online public process.
Today, PlaceSpeak empowers governments, non-profits, and other public organizations to efficiently engage the public in a legitimate manner, and gives confidence that they are reaching real, relevant constituents within their jurisdictional boundaries and respecting the public trust.
Former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is a keynote speaker on how direct democracy can be used for youth, political reform and climate action.
Hardwick’s digital technology panel takes place Thursday afternoon.