DemocracyOS promotes civic engagement on both sides

In part one of my interview with Pia Mancini, a political activist, I investigated the technologies and background of DemocracyOS, a project aiming to become the operating system of choice for government workers. In part two of my interview with Mancini, she discusses the challenges DemocracyOS faces and how her organization, Democracia en Red, is working to overcome them.

Interview with Pia Mancini, part 2

What have been some of the challenges in developing DemocracyOS and getting governments and groups to adopt it?

Using DemocracyOS represents a challenge for any institution used to make decisions in the traditional way. It is designed for governments to open themselves up to citizen engagement, but power is usually conservative. But the biggest challenge is probably to fight against the presumption that citizens are naturally apathetic and shun commitment. Our challenge is cultural, not technological.

The government in your home country of Argentina has been a bit wary of DemocracyOS. Why do you think that is?

I wouldn’t say it’s been wary, but they were certainly not comfortable with the idea. Power is conservative, and those in power want to stay in power. What DemocracyOS does is innovate in one of the few areas of our lives that Internet wasn’t affecting yet: politics. We are opening up an entrenched system and that naturally generates resistance. Continue>>>