Todd O’Boyle in 10 sentences #CeDEM17

Todd O’Boyle is one of our keynote-speaker at the CeDEM17 at the Danube University Krems in May 2017.  We asked him to send us 10 sentences about his keynote, his expectations of CeDEM17 and his vision of the future.

CeDEM17 – International Conference for E-Democracy and Open Government 2017 (17.05-19.05.2017)
Registration open

Todd O’Boyle (Next Century Cities, US) on “Digital Tools and Digital Democracy: US Cities and Civil Society in 2017”
Todd O’Boyle serves as Deputy Director of Next Century Cities, where he is overseeing the launch of the new Next Generation Engagement Awards to promote innovative citizen engagement and digital inclusion strategies in gigabit cities. He also works to shape strategy and organizational direction and policy priorities.
Prior to joining Next Century Cities, former Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Copps picked Todd to launch his Media and Democracy Reform Initiative at Common Cause, a non-partisan good government organization. In that capacity, Todd directed public interest communications policy campaigns, including successful efforts to guarantee the Open Internet (network neutrality); protect and promote competition; and stop Comcast’s bid to acquire rival Time Warner Cable. Regularly quoted in the national, local, and specialized media, as Program Director, he also managed legislative and regulatory outreach, grassroots engagement, and development relations.
Todd has experience in the academic and political worlds, having taught communications policy and worked in grassroots campaigns for nearly a decade. He has a Ph.D. in Public Policy from the University of Delaware.


What are the main assets of your keynote?
What are your expectations of CeDEM17?
What is your vision of the future?

  1. Even at a time of one-party rule in Washington, DC, the American federal government is sclerotic.
  2. On the one hand, the American citizenry is more engaged than ever witness record-setting protests, congressional town halls over capacity, etc.
  3. On the other, Americans feel an unprecedented level of isolation from and disapproval of their representatives in Washington, DC.
  4. Meanwhile, the United States has a long history of state and local government level policy innovation i.e.) the *laboratories of democracy.*
  5. So years of federal gridlock have bred innovation in open government, direct democracy, and citizen participation at the local level.
  6. Digital technologies offer unparalleled opportunities for engagement, entrenching systemic bias in decision-making towards the privileged.
  7. However, the disconnected may miss out on important governance decisions.
  8. The American voluntary and philanthropic sectors have a long history of local partnerships to remedy social problems with out-of-the-box solutions.
  9. Foundations and philanthropies can partner with non-profits to identify promising ideas, fund them, and broadcast them.
  10. The Benton Next Generation Engagement Awards offers an important model for rewarding innovative digital civic engagement that offer citizens a greater say in how their communities are organized and run.


CeDEM17 – International Conference for E-Democracy and Open Government 2017 (17.05-19.05.2017)
Registration open

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