Personal Democracy: It's a Very Good Thing

Personal Democracy Forum

The Personal Democracy Forum

I received some Skypes today from Alan Levy, BlogTalkRadio’s CEO and host of the Alan Levy Show. Alan is enjoying himself in New York City today, where he’s attending the Personal Democracy Forum.

So what is the Personal Democracy Forum? From the website:

Technology and the Internet are changing politics — now more than ever. Over the last five years, Personal Democracy Forum (PdF) has become the seminal gathering place for the growing community of people who understand the effects underway, and want to make sure they stay on top of what’s coming next.

This year PdF will be bigger and better than before–we’re expanding to two full days at a spectacular new venue overlooking Central Park, at Frederick P. Rose Hall, the home of Jazz at Lincoln Center.

AgendaThe 2008 election has shown that the Internet has become the central battlefield for campaigns, from the presidential race on down. So, on the first day of PdF 2008, we’re going to focus on how technology is changing the electoral process. But we all know that no matter who is elected, big changes are also coming in how government uses technology to serve or connect with the public. That’s why we’re adding a whole second day to the PdF agenda, devoted to how technology is changing governance and civic action.

Sounds like a good idea to me. The Internet has totally changed the way we look at and talk about politics.

The sessions look like they provided a gold mine of information. Check out what was on tap:

  • A New Media System or Old Wine in a New Bottle? Speakers – Arianna Huffington and Chuck DeFeo
  • When Worlds Collide: Social Media, Mainstream Media and Politics – Speaker -Matthew Hurst
  • The Power of Information to Transform Government – Speakers Jonathan Adelstein, Steven Clift, Sheila Cambell

And plenty more…

The Personal Democracy Forum was co-founded by Micah Sifrey a freelance writer, author and Senior Analyst with Public Campaign, a non-profit, non partisan organization based in Washington DC.

Internet for everyoneInternet for Everyone

While at the PdF, Alan was impressed to learn about Internet for Everyone, an organization a “a national initiative of public interest, civic and industry groups that are working to see that the Internet continues to drive U.S. economic growth and prosperity.”

From the website:

We believe every American must be connected to a fast, affordable, and open Internet to serve as an active citizen in a 21st century democracy and to prosper in today’s economy. High-speed Internet is no longer a luxury; it’s a lifeline for all Americans. Our broad alliance is working together to see that our nation’s leaders adopt a national plan to bring open, high-speed Internet connections into every home, at a price all of us can afford.

How true. How many kids can’t do proper research using the Internet because of a slow dialup connection? How many people miss out on wonderful business or personal opportunities because they can’t afford access? Visit Internet for Everyone for more details and to show your support. You might especially be interested in the Why Internet Matters page which talks about restoring America’s broadband leadership. We approve.

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