Last week the White House honored Ashoka Fellow Steven Clift (@democracy). Clift is the founder of E-Democracy.org, an online platform for citizen collaboration and government transparency. The White House honored 14 innovators from around the country as open government and civic hacking “Champions of Change”—people who are using technology to encourage citizen-driven change in local communities and governments.
E-Democracy is an online forum where citizens can discuss anything from education to neighborhood safety. 76% of citizens say they are not as involved in their communities as they would like to be—but E-Democracy aims to tackle this by making civic engagement easy and accessible through the internet. E-Democracy also promotes collaboration across communities. “It is important to...connect people locally across race, immigrants and native-born,” said Clift. The idea is to “make virtual space welcoming, open and relevant.”
In a rapidly changing world where much civic interaction gets lost in the ceaseless flood of information, E-Democracy places the power back in the hands of the people and encourages them to create solutions, solve community problems, and inform the work of their local governments. Clift and E-Democracy’s work is helping create a world in which every citizen can command change.