The ability to hold conversations with people across the globe and the excitement of connecting with vast numbers of people is part of the inherent fascination of social media. The idea of crowd-sourcing has been a natural evolution in the way universities and musical bands, among many other entities, have used social media to hear from people with relevant ideas. Today, I read that Iceland is working on a crowd-sourced constitution! Here is a whole new meaning for Lincoln’s words of a government “…of the people, by the people, for the people…” and it promises to be an interesting next step for the idea of democracy and citizen participation.
Iceland is redefining itself after its economic collapse of 2010 and is taking steps to encourage multi-level social engagement. It seems to be a multi-pronged effort:
- Website – http://stjornlagarad.is/ – coordinating the creation of the Constitution. (Thanks, Google Translate!)
- Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Stjornlagarad – encouraging the spirit of an open conversation.
- Twitter – https://twitter.com/#!/Stjornlagarad – for those real-time comments and responses.
- YouTube – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gv0kLGiI1k&feature=player_embedded – for those who like a more visual explanation of processes.
- Flickr – http://www.flickr.com/photos/stjornlagarad – a visual documentation of this fascinating social media experiment.
As one of the Stjornlagarad tweets disarmingly states:
I think the experiment/effort is impressive, whether we think of it as crowd-sourcing or as a transparent and inclusive process. It will be interesting to track the effort and see what emerges in the next three to four months because it will impact the way we think of democracy and citizen participation going forward. Good luck, Iceland!