Keren Flavell: #CeDEM17 in 10 sentences

Keren Flavell is one of our keynote-speaker at the CeDEM17 at the Danube University Krems in May 2017.  We asked her to send us 10 sentences about her keynote, her expectations of CeDEM17 and her vision of the future.

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

Keren Flavell (TownHall App Pty Ltd, US) on “Reinvigorating the Role of Media to Educate and Engage Citizens”
Keren is an award-winning web producer, author, speaker and strategist. She is internationally recognized as a global thought leader and digital innovator with more than 20 years of experience in the tech industry focusing on community, content and connection via advanced digital platforms. Her company pioneered connection between the virtual / in-world experience with live streaming and content distribution to hundreds of thousands of viewers — virtual and real-worlds alike. Keren has spoken on virtual worlds and social entrepreneurism at SXSW, AIMIA Conference, IAP2, Adelaide Futureproof and is a frequent blogger and talk show host Byte Into It — a technology talk show out of Melborne, Australia. Keren works between Ho Chi Minh City, San Francisco and Melbourne as a producer, consultant and serial entrepreneur and when in the right time zone, she really knows how to throw an amazing party.

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

  1. Most public engagement techniques are complex or obscure, resulting in low participation.
  2. The silent majority are too busy to commit the effort required, so they are drowned out by the loud minority.
  3. There’s widespread mistrust that government will act upon input from the community.
  4. The misuse of psychographics and algorithms for political influence makes it critical for traditional media to act as guardians of democracy.
  5. We are presenting a new model for mass participation by invigorating the role of local media.
  6. Political debate can learn from sports and gaming to be better at attracting and keeping attention.
  7. We want to explore how public opinion insights can guide actions by decision-makers.
  8. We want to understand how to support the cultural shift in making more transparent and collaborative decisions in government
  9. Exercising the muscle of citizen participation will lead to deeper levels of deliberation on issues.
  10. Creating a more open platform for discussion and debate will grow trust amongst citizens that their voices make a difference.

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

Keynote Hans Jochen Scholl: Profiling the Academic Domain of Digital Democracy and Government #cedem16

Hans Jochen Scholl, full Professor in University of Washington’s Information School (US), held his keynote “Profiling the Academic Domain of Digital Democracy and Government” at the CeDEM16.

Jochen_portrait_2015Hans Jochen Scholl
Hans Jochen Scholl is a Full Professor with tenure in the University of Washington’s Information School (Seattle, WA). In his public sector-related research Dr. Scholl’s special interests include smart governance, disaster sciences, interoperability, and information artifact evaluation in government. He served as President of the Digital Government Society from 2010 to 2011 and serves as Chair of the IFIP Working Group 8.5 (Information Systems in Public Administration). Dr. Scholl chairs the Electronic Government Track at the Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS) and co-organizes the European IFIP EGOV conferences. He also supervises the maintenance of the Electronic Government Reference Library (EGRL), which is chartered to identify and include all peer-reviewed English-language publications on electronic government worldwide.

CeDEM – the international Conference for e-Democracy and Open Government – brings together e-democracy, e-participation and open government specialists working in academia, politics, government and business to critically analyse the innovations, issues, ideas and challenges in the networked societies of the digital age. The CeDEM16 will be held from May 18th to May 20th 2016 at the Danube University Krems.

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Profiling the Academic Domain of Digital Democracy and Government

The research domain of digital democracy and government is of about full age. There is a dual view, on the one hand a more administration-centric perspective is looking at how services and processes could be improved. At the same time government should be more transparent and open and citizens should participate in governments’ decision-making more than just through voting. Academics interested in the study field became more and more numerous, coming from different fields (such as political science, biology, information science, geography etc.).

Different academic backgrounds

Being used to different standards, these people were doing workshops and were arguing how to do research. They were interested in the same topic, but asked themselves questions like “If I do research in this area of digital democracy, how will that stand with my colleague in information systems research?” Disciplinary diversity, funding, tenuring etc. was discussed. Looking into the body of knowledge in digital democracy, you see quite few collaborations you don’t see in other study domains. One way of evolution is a structure of a study domain and the self-organization. What we do has practical impact, it matters to practitioners.

Impact and reflection

What sets us apart is the projects involving practitioners. Very early on colleagues begun to reflect the study domain. F.i. Grönlund (2003) stated, the theory would be missing in the study domain. There is a tradition on reflecting the domain itself. Looking at the domain of digital democracy and government, unifying theories and uniform procedures and methods were missing in 2006 and are missing still. Scholars identifying themselves as scholars of the domain, special journals (such as GIQ), conferences and the Electronic Government Reference Library (2005: 992 References of peer-reviewed publications) provide the domain with identity and structure.

Electronic Government Reference Library

As a reviewer or as an author of a paper, the search within EGRL gives an overview of what is known about a topic and trends in the study domain. The EGRL is also a tool to do some analysis to identify who publishes on what issues or where scholars focusing on specific issues are located geographically. The EGRL becomes more and more important for hiring decisions and questions like salary adjustments. Analysis of measures like productivity of scholars is possible based on the number of entries in the EGRL. Most of the authors of the EGRL are also members of the EGOV-List (

Indices provide an impression of how productive a scholar is, but how good are these quantitative measures?

Indices are based on different data as f.i. they count citations only of approved journals or include conferences proceedings. Sometimes a high citation index refers mostly to only one paper of a scholar. The H-Index (Jorge E. Hirsch 2005) also gives an idea of who is having what impact in this area. These measures are good enough and at the same time they are not. Lead authorships should also be taken into account. Also single authorships or the average number of co-authorships are indicative as there are scholars with few or no lead co-authorships, but with a relatively high citation index. Also projects supervised and completed and other aspects should be taken into account. The scholar’s unique signature should be captured.


To put it in a nutshell, the average annual growth of publications in the domain (over 20% in peer reviewed publications) is outstandingly high. The domain has passed its infancy and established a multi disciplinary mode of operations. Measurements are necessary but too incomplete to measure the impact of an individual scholar.

Further Information about Hans Jochen Scholl:

“International Challenges to Transformational eGovernment” – Shauneen Furlong #CeDEM15 #keynote


Shauneen presents findings uncovered during the years of her work and research in Canada. Transformational eGovernment is based on the hope and promises that lead to democratic participation, social harmony and economic sustainability. Yet why are some eGovernment strategies more successful than others?

#CeDEM15 Keynote
“International Challenges to Transformational eGovernment”
Shauneen Furlong
Professor and ICT and eGovernment Consultant, Universities Toronto and Ottawa

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“Wazing the Information Super Highway: Linking the World’s Open Data Resources” Alon Peled #CeDEM15 #keynote


Who produces the greatest amount of data? US Congress Library ? No (=the size of bacteria). Google? No (=size of a merlin bird). NSA? No (=size of a whale). It is the Federal Agencies. Alon Peled in his keynote “Wazing the Information Super Highway: Linking the World’s Open Data Resources”.

#CeDEM15 Keynote
“Wazing the Information Super Highway: Linking the World’s Open Data Resources”
Alon Peled
Associate Professor and Political Scientist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

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“Enabling Open Government for All: A Roadmap for Public Libraries” – Theresa A. Pardo #CeDEM15 #keynote

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Open Government practitioners love to speak of “the citizen”. But who are exactly those people? Too often, we asume that we know who they are and what they want. Engaging with them and exploring what they care about is a time-consuming process, thus we are builders, makers and creators with an insufficient knowledge who we are building and creating for. According to Jamie LaRue, the central irony of open government is that it’s often not open at all.

#CeDEM15 Keynote
“Enabling Open Government for All: A Roadmap for Public Libraries”
Theresa A. Pardo
Director of the Center for Technology in Government at the University at Albany
State University of New York

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