Civic Signals is a new organization co-lead by The Filter Bubble author and former Upworthy founder Eli Pariser, which aims to explore new ways to leverage the democratic power of the Internet for positive change (previoupublic spsly). From January 12-14, they'll be hosting their first ever (online) New Public Festival, "in an emergent conversation over 3 days in our online park with an extraordinary group of designers, urbanists, technologists, builders, artists, and civic futurists."
Here's what they have to say about it:
Over the last year, we have been engaging experts across a wide variety of disciplines and doing research to understand what makes "public-friendly" spaces, well, public-friendly — what common characteristics (civic signals) are shared by the spaces that valorize the collective, and that are designed for the greater public good.
We think this matters both because these ideas could inform the design of existing digital platforms, but also perhaps more importantly because they could help inspire and shape the new platforms that will rise up in the years to come. This may seem like a novel challenge, but we've come to believe that it's not dissimilar.
This may seem like a novel challenge, but we've come to believe that it's not dissimilar from another set of problems that societies have been wrestling with for millennia: how to build healthy, flourishing civic spaces in the real world. Towns and cities have grappled with many of the same tensions that digital platforms are grappling with now. This may seem like a novel challenge, but we've come to believe that it's not dissimilar from another set of problems that societies have been wrestling with.We invite you to join us in this effort – because it's going to take all of us – to move beyond the necessary critiques of our online spaces and start thinking like digital urban planners about the spaces we want to inhabit in the future.
The online festival will include a bunch of great speakers including Cory Doctorow, Astra Taylor, Aaron Z Lewis, Esra'a Al Shafei, Ethan Zuckerman, and Katherine Maher of the Wikimedia Foundation. You can view the full schedule online and register for free. I know I plan on lurking for some of it.
New_Public Festival [Civic Signals]