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Thursday, October 2, 2014 - 14:28

Emily Shaw wrote a great blog this week about 'Civic Tech', which, in case you have been living in a cave for the last year, is the new lingo for the field of 'citizen technology for social change'. Handily those nice people at the Knight Foundation have produced a jazzy animated visualisation of the whole 'civic tech' field here. If you haven't read Emily's piece you might want to read that before reading this.
 

I love Emily's post, not least because she dares to use seemingly 'banned' words like 'politics', 'privilege' and 'power', but also because she implicitly asks whether civic tech is a movement of genuine transformatory substance, that we have reason to value, or just a carnival of ever-newer ways to reproduce existing privilege. At stake is whether civic tech (or ICT4D) ultimately acts to reinforce existing structures of power and (dis)advantage, or whether it has the potential to actually transform them.
 

The public discourse about ICT4D avoids mentioning unfashionable subjects like 'politics', 'privilege' and 'power'. This is despite the reality that all ICT4D & civic tech is inevitably political, involving as it does the application and redistribution of resources from...

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