by Luke Hohmann
It’s no secret. Local, state and federal governments face budget shortfalls, spending cuts and reduced service—in a political climate that favors gridlock. Serious games have emerged as a viable approach to budgeting that is both participatory and scalable. In this session, we’ll discuss why serious games are a particularly good tool for budgeting and their advantages over alternatives such as deliberative democracy, participatory budgeting, or majority voting through polls. Participants will learn to conduct in-person and online games built specifically for resolving multi-scalar budget problems. These models are based on Budget Games, which we designed and played in San Jose, CA, on Jan. 29, 2011 in which more than 100 community leaders collaboratively re-crafted the city’s proposed budget. Because the game revealed real consensus, San Jose officials were able to act on the game’s results with more confidence than traditional polling.
In the United States, only 50% of people vote in presidential elections. That drops to 40% for midterm elections, and 10% for primary, local and special elections. Worldwide, we rank 138th in voter turnout. The Internet has made it easy to find your old friends from college; download any song you want; get shoes delivered the very next day, and help create social change by signing petitions, making donations and lobbying congress.So why hasn't the Internet made voting awesome? Seth Flaxman and Paul Schreiber of Democracy Works will talk about why the voting system is so broken, and how the Internet can route around inefficiency and bureaucracy to increase voter turnout and make voting fit the way we live today.
by Jimmy Schulz
Jimmy Schulz attended SXSW in 2011 and announced during the panel session „Make Citizens Social: Digital Participation in Public Services“ that next year he would report the results of the implementation of “Adhocracy” in the German parliament. The Inquiry Committee “Internet and digital society” has been experimenting with the application of Liquid Democracy ( www.demokratie.de ) this last year. New forms of democratic participation thanks to technical innovation can help reduce public dissatisfaction with politics. Significantly, these tools can improve transparency, which is important for political legitimization and helping people better understand and identify with political decisions. Jimmy Schulz would like to report on the initial results of the application of these tools in the German Parliament.
9th–13th March 2012