Colleen Hardwick, PlaceSpeak

Establishing a Legitimacy Framework for Digital Democracy
Colleen Hardwick


Fall 2017
Lecture Time: 
Friday, October 13, 2017 - 1:30pm to 3:00pm
Lecture Location: 

R0220 Ross School of Business

Introduced By: 
Dylan Nelson


The use of information and communications technology (ICT) in transforming democracy has not lived up to its potential primarily because it has not been able to solve core problems associated with legitimacy. Up until now, online political communication has not been legitimate because it lacked transparency and is not verifiable. Even where open innovation systems capture large scale participation, there are legitimacy challenges inherent in the system absent digital identity authentication. Whether binding or nonbinding, voting based on unverifiable data is clearly not legitimate. Voting in the latter scenario is typically the product of a citizen engagement effort. As a consequence, the results are not trustworthy. PlaceSpeak is being developed in such a way to address challenges to legitimacy in eDemocracy. Digital identity authentication coupled with privacy by design principles combine in this solution that operates by proximity. The objective of this paper is to analyze the solution that PlaceSpeak represents utilizing an analytical framework for the evaluation of democratic innovation realized through the application of four explicitly democratic goods, namely inclusiveness, popular control, considered judgement and transparency as well as Efficiency and Transferability. Conclusions drawn from this analysis offer further opportunities for advancing democracy through innovation.

Recording & Additional Notes