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Reading List

The following topics should all be considered in relation to technological changes that occurred around the years 2000-2030. This list is partial and evolving. These topics were chosen based on the idea that in several decades time, these will be some of the defining issues from this period.

** suggestions (especially pull requests) appreciated **

Community Organizing and Local Politics

It is important to consider how we organize power and legitimacy in our physical communities. Candidates post their political platforms on GitHub and other collaborative applications, representatives are criwdsourcing ideas for spending budgets, and experiments that grew out of the Occupy movement such as liquid and deliberative democracy are being actively discussed. Do these experiments matter, or are they all more of the same?

Privacy, Security, and Personal Data

This is a pivotal conversation when we talk about how we become cyborgs. It involves discussions such as: where we as individuals end and our devices begin, or whether there is significant distinction there at all; who owns the data about us as that data becomes increasingly detailed and comprehensive; what are the valid uses of data about us individually and collectively, especially as it relates to our experience within our environment (e.g., marketing and advertising) and with our governments (e.g., tracking and policing).

Media, Advocacy, and Activism

Print journalism is struggling, and it is technically easier than ever for anyone to tell a story that the world can see. One of the most important aspects of these shifts is who holds the power to tell stories, to determine what stories get told, and to determine how the public receives those stories. Historically speaking, is this shifting media landscape a unique phenomenon? Are there other historical shifts that we can extrapolate from? How do changes in the source of, and access to stories change the way that we perceive and interact with cities?

Infrastructure, Social Services, and Education

Equity, Identity, and Representation

When taking into account historically unequal distributions of power and resources in society in general, it is sad but not surprising that the major voices in tech during this period are overwhelmingly White and male, particularly throughout the Western world. Is there evidence that civic technology looks any different, given that it has such equitable aspirations? What does the landscape look like around the world?

New to Civic Tech?

If civic tech is a new term to you, don't worry! You may actually be at an advantage, as civic tech probably will not mean the same to people in the future as it does to civic technologists today. To get a bit of a perspectiive on what those technologists of today believe, we recommend (but do not neccesarily endorse) the following: