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Speakers  – Digital Democracy: Vlad Suteu, Alex Boc, Dragoș Sas.

                – Code4Romania: Antoaneta Opris.  

Right here, at the very birth of the internet, the speakers of this panel knew that if they connected computers together, they could change the way human beings connected to each other, even change how politics work, how power works.  

It is incredible how the internet has changed so many different parts of our lives, from where we shop to how we fall in love. But it has barely changed our role as citizens, it’s barely changed how we can become involved in the things that affect our lives.

On the second day of Romanian Peace Forum we listened to creative ideas about a different approaches to exercise democracy, from people with a vision for “a connected environment”.  The speakers’ aim was to bring decisions into the public sphere and to give the public the means to participate in the decision-making process that will shape their future.

Digital Democracy and Code4Romania presented their platforms, both of which are designed to encourage public initiatives, organize events, shape communities and bring people together.  

code4romania is the Romanian branch of an international civic tech community which works to solve challenges impacting communities in a meaningful way. It is a community of 350+ volunteers who create open source digital tools for resolving societal challenges in Romania.  “Code for” projects can range from mapping all first aid points in a city, to creating a website which explains the law in layman’s terms, or even an app to help facilitate the process of vote monitoring.

The Digital Democracy app will be launched this July. It is a tool developed by a Cluj-based start-up that helps communities work #togetherasone towards solving their challenges and developing sustainable collaborations.

The internet has always been about reinvention, innovation. So, when would be a better time for a digital democracy than right now?

Whatever the answer, we were encouraged to act, as our speakers urged that “tomorrow happens today”!

                                                                                                                                   Isabella Pirlogea