The TICTeC 2024 schedule is now live! Climate, AI & Democracy Under Threat

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Gemma Moulder

May 9, 2024, 12:01:11 PMMay 9
Hello everyone,

We're delighted to share the full list of sessions for our 2024 Impacts of Civic Technology Conference (TICTeC), which will be happening in London and online on 12th and 13th June. 

With 65+ speakers from 23 countries across 55 sessions, this year's conference is set to be one of the best editions yet. 

The conference's focus is on democracy, climate - and of course, the civic tech that seeks to help. Explore the list of sessions, which includes information about which can be joined virtually and which are in-person only.

There's still time to register to attend, but be quick, as previous TICTeC conferences have all sold out. 

We hope to see you there!



Gemma Moulder (she / her)

Events and Engagement Manager


simon fj

Jun 10, 2024, 5:49:05 AMJun 10
to mysociety-community, Gemma Moulder
Thanks for the schedule again Gemma.
I really would have liked to attend but, as always, I'm on the other side of the world.

Could I ask mysociety to consider doing something a little different for this conference?
It has to do with your ideas about putting together Communities of Practice, and specifically I'm interested in one for digital infrastructures.

What I was imagining is a Q&A space (like this one) that linked, eg. from the Q&A page on the schedule to a place like this. That way, after an event, you'd put up the recordings and have a COP's Q&A page where we could keep a record of both the invitation, the recording and the ongoing discussions.

Janos and I have illustrated over at the opengovernment discourse site just what I mean.I had hoped by now we would have seen some (online) collaboration between the organisations and individuals who make up the UK Democracy Network to take this approach.

Would you also ask Louise Crow and other attendees to consider this online session sometime in the future?
The biggest challenge we have at the moment is getting National governments to coordinate the development of their govtech stuff.

That said, this is a similar approach to what Matt is suggesting, especially if we take the an OGP "co-design/co-creation approach" of public spaces. Additionally, we will want to include network engineers who have been left out of the civitech/govtech discussions to date - the managers of public networks. That means redesigning public networks.

Hopefully we can bring theses two communities to (design on) the same page.
Please come back.
regards, Simon

Steven Clift EDem

Jun 10, 2024, 7:51:47 AMJun 10
to simon fj, mysociety-community, Gemma Moulder
"It has to do with your ideas about putting together Communities of Practice," 

Oh, where is this documented?

Years ago some of us were working on the idea that leaders in civic tech/democracy online could step up and build an infrastructure for democracy builders writ large help them to connect horizontally and globally with well facilitated, technology appropriate/effective tech.

We are literally watching the end of effective democracy under our watch, so if necessity is the mother of all invention, I'm in.

I have an outline of a proposal somewhere if someone wants to glean ideas off of it for whatever is being considered now. 

Let me know and I'll dig around for it.

Fwiw, post-2016 election no foundations were interested in our efforts to use tech to expressly build bridges across differences. It was war ... digitally speaking. So we are in all volunteer legal maintenance mode looking for ways to archive our 1994-2017 lessons.


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Steven Clift EDem

Jun 11, 2024, 10:01:09 AMJun 11
to simon fj, mysociety-community, Gemma Moulder
Found it!

In general, my take is that civic tech as island not building a collaborative/knowledge exchange infrastructure for the whole of the democracy building world is a missed opportunity.

Back in the day before mySociety/Code for America you basically had "democracy people" who were inspired to use whatever tech tool (typically free out of the box) for their democracy building goals.

Then the biggest wave of funding got more or less behind technologists and their ideas for how democracy could be supported that more or less embrace meritocracy.

At one point E-Democracy did have the ability to shape some tools and contribute to the world of open source, which was great. But other than us as a bridge of sorts, the classic democracy builders/civic engagement crowd rarely had the opportunity to be at the table building out the specs. Many of them probably didn't get that that's where they build out the democratic DNA into how things work.

So, what I like about the concept of civic technologists supporting the global democracy building community in general is creating a chance to build "what if the tech did this" bridges. 

I do believe we are at the point where autocracy is on the march seeking to exploit the weaknesses in democratic checks and balances to then create permanent majorities to cement minority rule that is far less democratic than what we have had. So if that's not a motivating factor to connect and support as many democracy builders as possible, I don't know what is?

Anyway, I have no idea what the communities of practice conversation is about, but I'd be happy to talk to whoever is working the idea and the scope.

Ultimately, post 2016, almost all the big money in civic tech/media/democracy online has gone into reactionary things to the problems (disinformation, etc.) and the positive "here is what we can do better" agenda has been totally lost on the decision-makers with the purse strings. Perhaps there is an opportunity to revisit this and give the next generation a chance to build new, good things and not just put out fires.


P.S. As understand it per the draft, the direct democracy folks, have built some stuff. We'll need to check with Bruno. I think all the sectors of democracy building need to be supported and geographically have ways to connect across silos. Meaning I should be able to connect easily with peers globally on a very niche basis but in my home city/state be able to network as easily with people passionate about all the flavors of democracy building.

simon fj

Jun 18, 2024, 4:44:56 AMJun 18
to mysociety-community, Steven Clift EDem, mysociety-community, Gemma Moulder, simon fj
Oh Steve,

I saw your name pop up and was so (pleasantly) surprised. I though I was the only last-century demosaur roaming the wastelands of old public institutions. Thanks for the doc. Always nice to remember where we (those hopeful technology might be used by our public institutions to be inclusive of baby boomers)  were decades ago.

You said " I have no idea what the communities of practice conversation is about". Oh come on.This is no different than all the discussions about "thematic groups" (which is the euro language). Lets just say its somewhere between COP s of interest (the general point of inquiry around a subject) and COP's  of OLD practice; the place where ideas about new institution form up/coalesce into a bunch of new ways of performing a social service.

I had to laugh at your/our idealism.  "Years ago some of us were working on the idea that leaders in civic tech/democracy online could step up and build an infrastructure for democracy builders writ large help them to connect horizontally and globally with well facilitated, technology appropriate/effective tech". Did you read Option 3 on the first day of tictech sessions (especially the 3PM sessions about infrastructure) building infrastructures for digital citizen participation  Makes one feel very old yes? Still, nice to see the same old idealism.

Its a bit more constructive to consider the kind of person, and their role. From my perspective we're back to where we were a decade ago.
This time, in this place. its up to Gemma and her peers. We can see the UK community managers forming up. Scroll to the bottom and read James's very nice "Ecosystem pledge". It'll be interesting to see if they ever figure out how to collaborate, and which tools they prefer to share. 

In the meantime, as an old demosaur, you might like this.   Always good to visit graveyards in order to keep perspective on the future.
Do us a favour and check out this forum. Its entirely UK based, so a bit backward, but the Scots are bridging between public,  and private (spaces like this google place) networks.

Be good, Simon

David Durant

Jun 18, 2024, 9:12:29 AMJun 18
to simon fj, mysociety-community, Steven Clift EDem, Gemma Moulder

The Democracy check-in is great. Just a quick shout-out for two other things, the Collaborative Democracy Network set up by Demos and the community-of-communicty-managers forum that's on the aPolitical platform.


Mastodon :

om G

Jun 18, 2024, 2:19:41 PMJun 18
to mysociety-community, simon fj, Steven Clift EDem, Gemma Moulder
Interesting discussion David.

There’s a whole raft of assumptions that are crippling any real movement forward.

Predominantly, trying to replace banking or at least stay friendly with the sector.

I believe to move at all, we must adopt a much broader mindset for ‘solutions’.

Being a Dinosaur is all in the mind! Plenty of youth today have no historical context and pretty much do what they are told.

All the best,


simon fj

Jun 19, 2024, 3:35:51 AMJun 19
to mysociety-community, om G, Steven Clift EDem, Gemma Moulder, simon fj,, Paul Braithwaite,,, Tim Hughes,
Many Thanks David, Om,

I guess the idea of community-of-community managers is the common thread for all our discussions now. I see apolitical is only for public servants. That's OK.  Keep us unwashed out:)  Let's face it, there are two sides to open government. The first is sharing the learning between gov silos, usually nationally and locally, sometimes internationally. Then between the silos and the great international unwashed (citizens),

Unfortunately, so far as bridging (securely) between public networks, and offering public servants in different countries a place to share their learning is concerned, apolitical (and its peers) is a messy, and unnecessarily expensive, workaround. Did you read the T&C's and notice the difference between an Individual User, and an Institutional User? Another Access code issued by some institutional manager to one of their institution's users so they can access a private companies' (paid) "premium services".

Don't get me wrong. I've nothing against private enterprise making money just because the gov approach, for so long, has been for every public network application to be outsourced to a multi-national. But its a bit annoying when the public-minded (edu) guys who invented all this internetworking stuff have been using a secure way of sharing stuff between public networks, globally, for over a decade. (Additional) Cost? $0

Check this out. I'll point you at a wiki at GEANT. These guys run the backbone for 28 national R&E networks across Europe. One of their flagship projects is sharing data coming out of the Hadron collider with researchers, usually inside public institutions, around the world. BIG data. You want to see how they share space and data with their global mates? Top Right. Hit the Log In.  Choose which institution you're from. I'll leave it to your imaginations to consider what might happen if our .gov institutional networks were to take the same approach as our .edu ones.

That said, knowing that (to use a US stat) 85% of government networks are Microsoft colonies; did you read apolitical T&C's Glossary where it mentions  "AI Service Provider" means Open AI, LLC;" So, all content going through apolitical's site will be used for training Microsoft's Co-pilot. 

Gotta say. This old dinosaur prefers a real-life, socially-minded, community manager. Preferably one who, with his/her mates, agrees on the internetworking infrastructure and shared open web tools which enable their global communities to thrive. Anyone know where we might find them?

Be Good,
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