Innovation for Democracy Café
Register for the 1st Episode of Innovation for Democracy Café!

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In 2022 we are launching the “Innovation for Democracy Café“! In a series of digital events, we will showcase best practices of civil society: how to make use of digital technology or innovative approaches to foster freedom, democracy, and human rights.

Our first episode How Can Open Data and Civic Tech Facilitate Initiatives of Civil Society” will be held online and recorded on April 20th, 2022, 11:00-12:30am CEST. Please join us! You can use the registration form below.

For this episode, English-Mandarin two-way simultaneous interpretation will be provided.

In each episode of the “Innovation for Democracy Café”, we will have 2-3 guests to introduce their projects, and discuss topics such as: How do they apply technology to advance freedom, democracy, and human rights? How can we facilitate the cooperation between civil society and technology communities? What is open data and why is it important? What do civil society organizations need to do when processing data? and many more. The Innovation for Democracy Café will be hosted by Ya-wei Chou, FNF Global Innovation Hub’s Program Manager for the the topic of Innovation for Democracy.

We hope that these insights will serve as examples and inspiration, and that they will bring a concrete understanding on how technology can help, and how what an ideal technology development model should look like.

In this first episode, we will have two guests: Ms Hung-wen Tseng, Deputy Secretary-General for the Green Citizens’ Action Alliance (GCAA). Ms Tseng will discuss her work and introduce two innovative projects that use technology for sustainability: “Thau-bing (“Thau-bing” means “transparent” in Taiwanese. The website’s complete name is written as “透明足跡,” which means “transparent footprint” in Mandarin” environmental data visualization website, and Scan-it-before buying it App (掃了再買). The Thau-bing website collects and visualized environmental data, helping the general public to have an easy channel to check and acquire environmental data. The website’s database is connected to the Scan-it-before -buying app, which is available for download from Google Play, free of charge. By scanning a product’s barcode with the Scan-it-before-buying app, consumers can see the pollution records of the product’s manufacture compiled in the Thau-bing website’s database, and thus help them make environment-friendly choices every day. The Alliance was among the top-five teams at the 2020 Presidential Hackathon with a project to discover regulation loopholes of managing the pollution caused by factories in farming lands, which is also developed based on the Thau-bing website.

For all these projects, the cooperation with civic tech communities and the use and availability of open data were crucial.

Our second guest will be Ms Adriana Groh, Project Lead of the New Hanse in Germany. Ms Groh has been leading many inspiring civic tech projects and initiatives about data commons. She will provide us an overview on how to foster digital sovereignty and make open data really understood and used by the public and become a tool that facilitates public participation and accountability of the government.

Through their talk, we will discuss:

(1) why open data is important, how to make open data from the government really belong to people, and how to process data;

(2) how civil society organization and civil tech community can work together? How can open data facilitate it? How to interpret the needs from both sides?

Let’s get to know our guests below!

Ms. Adriana Groh, Project Lead of The New Hanse

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Adriana Groh is currently leading a project on digital sovereignty, participation and data commons at the newly founded The New Institute in Hamburg. Previously, she was the director of the Prototype Fund, an innovation fund of the Open Knowledge Foundation and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, and co-initiated several tech projects, such as a chat app for the 2017 and 2021 federal elections and the #WirVsVirus Hackathon 2020. She studied Public Policy and Democratic Innovations in Frankfurt and Maastricht.

Hung-wen Tseng, Deputy Secretary-General of Green Citizens’ Action Alliance

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Ms Tseng currently serves as Deputy Secretary-General of GCAA. She believes that openness and transparency are the key to prevent corruption, rebuild people’s trust to the government, initiate the dialogue between the people, the government, enterprises, and all the stakeholders, and motivate enterprises to race to the top. Therefore, she established Thau-bing environmental data visualization website (“Thau-bing” means “transparent” in Taiwanese, and the website’s complete project name is written as “透明足跡”, which means “transparent footprint” in Mandarin), which gathered environmental data of enterprises in Taiwan. Until now, the website received around 100,000 visits per month. The website has further utilized its data to develop the “Scan it before buying it (掃了再買)” App. By using the app to scan the barcode of a product, users can see whether the product’s manufacturer has records of violating environmental protection laws. Moreover, after further analyzing the website’s data, the GCAA developed the project discovering loopholes of the government’s management of the pollution that factories produce to farming lands, thereby making the GCAA elected as one of the top five best teams of 2021 Presidential Hackathon.

If you would like to join in the event, please fill in the registration form until the 19th of April 2022!

You can download our program here.

Should you have any question, please write to yawei.chou@freiheit.org