BIL 2015

March 21-22nd at Imperial Vancouver. Doors open at 8am. Opening remarks begin at 9:30AM.

Colleen Hardwick


Urban Geographer. Film Producer. Internet Entrepreneur. Colleen Hardwick is the Founder of PlaceSpeak, the first location-based public consultation platform.

Colleen Hardwick, was headed for a career in Urban Planning before a twist of fate launched her into a 20 year career in the film industry. When a movie was shot in her family home, Colleen changed course to planning movies instead. She quickly ascended the ranks, ultimately founding her first company, New City Productions, which produced dozens of movies.

In 2005, Colleen switched gears again, this time with an eye on the Web. With the support of the Canada New Media Fund, she began to prototype MovieSet which won the Vortex Award for Excellence in New Media Innovation by the Marshall McLuhan Festival of the Future. She blended her knowledge of film production with internet technology to pioneer behind-the-scenes film-making online, while building audience through social media.

Circling back to her urban geography roots, in 2010, Colleen started to develop a system for consulting with people online within specific spatial boundaries. The result is PlaceSpeak, the first location-based community consultation platform. PlaceSpeak authenticates online consultation.

Talk Title: Making it Real: Legitimacy in eDemocracy

Satisfaction with democratic institutions is on the decline; voter turnout is dropping and alienation is on the rise. We have arrived at a paradoxical historical moment when nearly everyone favours democracy, but apparently few believe that democratic governance can do anything.

The Internet offers fresh potential to reinvigorate civic engagement. However, the use of ICT in transforming democracy has not lived up to its potential. There are legitimacy challenges inherent in any system that lacks digital identity authentication and fails to protect individual privacy.

This talk presents an analytical framework for the evaluation of ICT innovation realized through the application of explicitly ‘democratic goods’, namely inclusiveness, popular control, considered judgement and transparency, as well as efficiency and transferability.

How do we authenticate eDemocracy, whether that is eVoting or influencing decisions and policies through online consultation? People who are interested in the future of Democracy should listen to this talk.