The “Digital Communities” category focuses on the wide-ranging social and artistic impact of the Internet technology as well as on the latest developments in social software, user generated content, mobile communications, mash-ups and location based services. Digital Communities” focuses on innovation in relation to human coexistence. Its main goals lie in first, bridging the geographical as well as the genderbased digital divide and second, bridging across cultural conflicts and third, supporting cultural diversity and freedom of artistic expression. Digital Communities sheds light on the political and artistic potential of digital and networked systems. As such, “Digital Communities” selects a broad range of projects, applications, artworks, initiatives and phenomena around which social and artistic innovation is taking place, as it were, in real time. Consideration is given to projects dealing with the concept of “Smart City” and especially of “Smart Citizen”, going beyond the purely technological view of a Smart City and focussing on the societal and participatory processes.
Digital Communities – What are they?
Digital communities – regardless of whether their background is social or artistic – give rise to group action and interaction, engender constructive contexts and social capital, and promote social innovation as well as cultural and environmental sustainability. An essential precondition for this is making the respective relevant technologies and infrastructure more widely accessible or even developing them in the first place. But access to content and information is also a core consideration. A crucial aspect to help digital communities flourish is making relevant technologies and infrastructures more broadly available and/or developing new technological approaches. Digital communities are committed to facilitate the furthering of social development. A key aspect of this effort, then, is to reconfigure the power relations between citizens and political leaders, the state and administrative bureaus as well as between financial and commercial interests. In order to achieve this, digital communities is engaged in increasing participation, strengthening the role of civil society and establishing a framework through which democracy can flourish.
The “Digital Communities” category is open to political, social, cultural and artistic projects, initiatives, groups, and scenes from all over the world that are effectively utilizing digital technology to further society and to promote social responsibility. It is open to the initiators and propagators of these communities as well as the developers of the relevant technologies, and is meant to honor those whose work contributes to the establishment and proliferation of digital communities as well as to those efforts that promote better understanding and research.
The range of potential applicants to this category is wide: we invite submissions from private initiatives all the way to public institutions, grassroots associations to professional organizations. They might take any number of approaches and focus on all different aspects of community innovation and social software. Particular emphasis is placed on a project’s level of community innovation, its sustainability in cultural, economic and environmental terms, and its use of technology in ways that are sensible and user-friendly. Depending on the particular situation, this might simply be creating a smart linkup to pre-existing tools or optimizing the use of available infrastructure.
Projects will also be selected based on both their social and technological engagement, the usage of social software tools, artistic and cultural approaches and the creative implementation of the concept. Special attention will also be paid towards the degree of the visionary and forward looking potential of the projects, their potential for new innovation and the degree to which they have already been realized.
Jurors will place particular emphasis on the reasonableness, appropriateness and openness of the solutions. Digital Communities projects should enable human beings to enjoy the widest possible access to technology, networks, content and the so-called digital commons. The projects singled out for recognition should be able to serve as models to be taken on by others, and should constitute a source of inspiration, encouragement and empowerment.
Among the projects, phenomena, artworks and fields of activity subsumed under the heading Digital Communities are:
- social software
- web 2.0 applications
- social networking systems / friends networks / social self-support groups
- user –generated content & metadata
- citizen journalism / professional amateurs reporting
- real-time web applications
- mapping mashups
- open government data
- artistic collaborative projects
- citizen involvement / citizen journalism
- eRights / eDemocracy / eGovernance
The Jury has the right to recognize Internet based »movements« and projects with high social and political impact which (for political or other reasons) have no traceable »author«, but are organized in a decentral / distributed way and which for these reasons are not able to submit in the aformentioned manner.
Who can submit an entry?
Individuals, groups, associations, public institutions and private enterprises are eligible to enter. They must, at the time of the judging, be active, extant communities, and must be verifiable through online representation or documentation. Community projects may be submitted only by an authorized representative. Journalistic, scholarly and artistic works may be submitted only by the author or copyright holder or his/her authorized representative. In the case of software, the entry must be an application that is well documented and runs in real time. Submissions should be made by the developer(s) and should indicate the type of license granted to those using this software. All persons submitting an entry must nominate a proxy in case the winner is unable to appear at the awards ceremony. Purely commercially oriented projects are ineligible.