The Backbone Campaign’s goal is to give a voice to community members and the masses, alike, by way of “Artful Activism” (Backbone Campaign). Through the teaching of non-violent techniques and strategies, the Backbone Campaign looks first to give individuals the tools to have an effective political voice, and second to implement those skills in a manner that generates a dialogue between political leaders and those that they represent.
The Digital Activism Research Project (DARP) is “dedicated to studying the effect of digital technology on civic engagement, non-violent conflict, and political change around the world” (digital-activism.org). DARP’s mission is to bring a more empirical and collaborative approach to the study of digital citizen engagement, in context of the important role global digital activism has played in the evolution of non-violent conflicts, democratization, and peace-building efforts around the world.
PlaceSpeak connects people’s online identities with their home addresses so that they can voice their opinions electronically in a wide variety of forums. This provides topic hosts with confidence that they are receiving feedback from the right places. We are advancing the public consultation process by creating an online platform that enables inclusive, informed participation, policy development and decision making. Our goal is to bring back ‘power to the people', but do so in conjunction with proponents.
Before making the education policy adjustments which had become essential due to low pupil turnout, the Department of Education in Northern Ireland sought to pay attention to the views of the parents. The goal was to create the required new rules within an atmosphere of cooperation. To attain this cooperation, a deliberative poll was held in Omagh, Northern Ireland in January 2007. 565 randomly selected parents were polled and then invited to Omagh College for a day of deliberation. 127 participants were given briefing materials on education policy.
This case study features a citizens' deliberation using the Dialogue Cirlces method to address inequities in the educational system derived from racism and poverty. This deliberation produced action ideas for various community groups, the successfully-enacted Early Childhood Care and Education Act, and efforts to pass amendment to the New Mexico constitution that would increase state funding for early childhood education.