As we are approaching the next edition of Personal Democracy Forum CEE in 2020, it is a good occasion to highlight some events we organized or took part in 2019. For us it is not only about the event itself, but it is also about the people we met, we worked with and people who inspired our work. 

In March, we took part in TiCTeC conference where we hold a presentation on the models of collaboration between governments and digital social innovations. 

Later in April, we have organized the Personal Democracy Forum CEE. In total, the event attracted 450 activists, academics, public administration officials, journalists, IT professionals, change makers, business representatives, and other practitioners representing 41 countries including 89 speakers, panelists and workshop leaders from around the world. The 7th edition of the conference under a general theme of “In Whom We Trust” was focused around two phenomena causing a heated debate in the CEE region and beyond: one of them was Gov Tech – new technologies, innovative solutions, digital tools developed and used by public administration to improve its functioning, an approach already quite popular in the US, Western Europe or Asia which is now spreading across Central and Eastern Europe. The second leading topic of the conference was disinformation: fake news, unreliable information, low level of media literacy, polarisation and politicization of the media, journalists in (often physical) danger, and many other problems being a real threat to democracy. In total, the audience had a chance to take part in 22 practical workshop sessions and listen to 15 expert presentations in three thematic streams: Broken Feedback Circle and Citizen Fake-Xperience of Day 1 and Good Collaboration Hurts on Day 2 additionally enriched with the inspiring keynote speech by Lech Wałęsa, the famous leader of the Solidarity Movement in Poland. The detailed report on the three days of the conference can be found in a series of articles published on the Foundation’s website.

In May 2019 we took an active role at the OECD Forum to facilitate discussion around the impact of technology on Civil Society Organizations. We took part in the Stockholm Internet Forum where we promoted alGOVrithms report. Also in May, we took part in POINT conference in Sarajevo to discuss how to organize civic tech events and networking with activists from the Western Balkans, US, Middle East and CEE countries. 

In June 2019, we took part in We Make The City conference in Amsterdam. Also in June we hosted a final project event in Warsaw to celebrate the successes of the DSISCALE project and bring city governments and the Digital Social Innovation community together. New urban visions, brought together over 80 people in Warsaw, Poland. Organisation was made possible through collaboration between Nesta, overall lead of the project, and ePaństwo Foundation. 

In September we took part in Erste Foundation Tipping Points, where we have discussed the impact technology has on democracy in Central and Eastern Europe. 

In November, we have presented our report on alGOVrithms to the audience gathered at the World Forum for Democracy in Strasbourg. During the event, we were happy to receive second place in the World Democracy Award competition for this project. Also in November, we took an active part in the Internet Governance Forum in Berlin, where, in cooperation with Council of Europe we conducted a workshop on the possible impact of Artificial Intelligence on human rights.  We were also present in Lviv, where, at the 2nd Eastern Partnership eDemocracy Conference we led a panel on Digitalization and Democracy.  

In the beginning of December, together with our partners from Open Data Kosovo we have organized the second edition of GOT DATA in Prishtina. 

We closed the year with two panels (on the right to be forgotten and algorithmic transparency) conducted at the III Citizens’ Rights Congress organized by the Polish Commissioner for Human Rights. 
The 2020 will not be any “easier”. Already in January we will talk on events in Berlin and London, and everyone at ePaństwo is strongly focused to deliver the best civic tech conference in CEE – Personal Democracy Forum CEE. Follow us on FB and TT to get more information and make sure to register! See there and on other events in 2020!