Monday, December 16, 2013

The function of #ePetitions in #ParticipatoryDemocracy and #FuturEd

A petition is a request to do something.  Typically a petition sets out a problem and demands that responsible parties solve it.  An #ePetition is a request made accessible and sharable on the internet, using a variety of electronic polling and networking tools.   This means unlimited numbers of people can electronically sign the petition, and very large numbers of petitioners can be difficult for responsible parties to ignore.  This is the essence of true democracy – individuals participating in decision-making on an equal basis – one person, one vote – with a simple majority being able to reach the decision.   True democracy transformed itself into representative democracy before we had the tools for everybody to be involved, so individuals are elected to represent large numbers of people who transfer their voices to their representative.  The flip side of representative democracy is direct democracy where individuals have the opportunity and the responsibility to engage in informed decision-making.  The internet makes this possible, the scale of global problems makes this necessary, digital petitions are vehicles for direct democracy and positive change, and education systems must take a responsible role immediately.   In this context, democracy, education and change are essentially synonyms.