The State of Democracy

Freedom Works
Demorcacy: Where its at and where we’re headed

Democracy is at a turning point. Since the financial crisis of 2008, the tools for participating in decision making have become more widely spread but at the same time power and money has been concentrated further in the hands of the few.

Narratives of fear, security and austerity put individuals and nations against one another. Many feel indifferent and, or, ignored. Governments – local, regional, national and supra-national – have less resources, requiring difficult decisions, often within a short-term context.

Yet there are communities, governments, campaigners, technologists, thinkers, political parties and others working on how things could be different.

The State of Democracy as an extension of some research with the Democratic Society and Jon Worth. It aims to explore what is happening, point to interesting discussions and to see what answers might be found.

Project: Data Sonification

This project catalogues ways that use sound to ‘visualise’ (aka: sonify) data. That may sound really abstract and complicated, but pop over to the site and you might be surprised. What’s fascinating about this area is that it crosses over science, sound/music and art.

One of my favourites, that brings data sonifcation to life, is the Royal Festival Hall’s singing glass lift by Martin Creed, Work 409. It was installed in 2005 and is still taking visitors up and down the six levels of the building. Bringing smiles to everyone who gets in. As Word 409 producer, Neill Quinton, explained: “Aurally, you’re hearing a complete representation of what is going on spatially.”

The project has it’s own Twitter account: @DataSonify.


How information of the Japanese earthquake spread on Twitter

These videos display how information of the Japanese earthquake spread across Twitter in the first hour after the quake. They were released by Twitter on 29 June 2011.

Twitter state that they saw a 500% increase in Tweets from Japan as, “people reached out to friends, family and loved ones in the moments after the March 2011 earthquake”.
Continue reading → How information of the Japanese earthquake spread on Twitter

Young people today are connected, global and desire justice and authenticity

At least those are the findings of McCann Worldgroup’s global survey of 16-30 year-olds: The Truth About Youth.

‘What emerged from the findings was a view of the first truly global generation, fueled and empowered by technology and motivated by the same three fundamental needs: Commune (the need for connection, relationships, and community), Justice (the need for social or personal justice, to do what’s right, to be an activist), and Authenticity (the need to see things as they are). These motivations drive behaviors that transcend borders.’

McCann identified four areas from the research that were key for them to understanding this age group:
Continue reading → Young people today are connected, global and desire justice and authenticity