Seeing participation and innovation through the eyes of a child


There is a political datum that is not taken with due attention and which instead 'is a heavy datum', which becomes 'a real concern', and it is that of the 'decline in citizen participation'.

So he began Laura Boldrini, President of the Chamber of Deputies at the Conference “Networks for democracy – New forms of participation and digital activism” wanted by her and which saw the participation of States General of Innovation, represented by the exceptional Flavia Marzano, President of the Associationfrom Louis Snipers, professor at the University of Urbino, scholar of digital citizenship, who has framed the phenomenon in a historical-sociological key, by Marco From Milan, Deputy Director of Espresso, by Eugenio Bears of The future starts again, Luca Francescangeli from, Andrew Pinchera of Greenpeace Italy, Rosy Battle by Cittadini Reattivi, by the journalist and digital activist Giulia Innocent.

An example - said President Boldrini - was the low participation in the referendum for the drills. Maybe - Boldrini continued - that question didn't interest the Italians so much ... then there were also those who asked not to go to vote ...

Furthermore, I would add, with great humility of course, there was the voluntary confusion artfully created to confuse and possibly leave things as they have been 'renewed' ...

However there is a heavy drop in participation in the elections. We recorded it in the last regional elections.

So true and heartfelt participation, participatory participation, has precisely become an urgent need that cannot be postponed. The most important action is to create greater openness from below, which means getting closer to citizens but to make administrative structures less obscure, taking responsibility for past, present and future acts, opening them up to everyone's knowledge and understanding.

Digital participation is an excellent tonic for that disease which is the tiredness of democracy' – underlined the president of the Chamber. 'A little while ago I received a letter from Minister Carlo Calenda which says that on 30 May he will activate the 'reading room' at his ministry, on the TTIP. It is good news. Deputies will have some limits, but there will be consultation' he announced.

And Boldrini herself asked for the possibility that the parliamentarians have more information on the negotiations between the EU and the US in a letter to the minister Maria Elena Boschi. .

So digitization is important but then there are the eyes, the feelings, the impressions and the social culture must be lived concretely
– added Boldrini at the conference.

Marco Damilano underlined the gap between society and politics, also well highlighted by the political scientist Peter Mair, who died prematurely, in his book 'ruling the void'. Where the European Union is also seen as an organization which contributes to the depoliticisation of member states and whose infamous "democratic deficit" reflects the deliberate intentions of its founders.

In short, globalization and digitization risk being exploited to retrograde society towards anti-democratic forms prior to our times.

In fact Damilano during his speech at the conference took up the concept according to which the parties have undergone a fundamental transformation: from bearers of the voice of the citizens to the institutions they have turned into bearers of the voice of the institutions among the citizens

The professor. Snipers instead he underlined that we take advantage of a world that is no longer ours and we suffer the consequences but a whole series of useful and very important stimuli and information can arrive through this world

And therefore increasing communication to create synergies of action, above all through social networks, is the fundamental lever to put a stop or to raise a containment wall to the anxiety of the 'return to the past' today experienced as desirable.

We work together to create and share knowledge, we are CoCoCo – said Flavia Marzano, President of the States General for Innovation who spoke immediately after prof. Ceccarini, as before among the representatives of the digital associations protagonists of the conference-seminar


What we have done, who we are :


The President of the States General of Innovation then focused on the pivot of hers action/intention to create value around and for digitization. For Flavia Marzano, participation is a value that passes through (also and above all) gender participation


Yes We Stem is an initiative implemented by Wister - the women's network of the States General of Innovation, created by President Marzano for the promotion of female equality in all aspects of social life - to facilitate and favor the participation of girls in studies scientific, still a strong male prerogative. With the help of the European Commission, the Ministry for Equal Opportunities and the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, a series of school meetings were organized, hosting authoritative scholars and scientists, in order to arrive at the positive elimination of the gap existing between the studies , further subdivided into 'genres'


But there is also an important thing to consider: today society has created various levels of aggregation, the most important of these levels are social networks, sharing platforms that continually surpass each other for the offer of sharing. For social networks therefore, despite the dangers of participatory forms, for example risk for privacy, or involvement in unwelcome friendships, or publication on one's bulletin board of unwanted images, attacks by stalkers, or identity theft, etc... inclusion is the absolute value.

The 'reticular-digital' sense of belonging is the modern form of social cohesion. Depending on the density of the network to which they belong, the purpose or common interest, the group consolidates on various degrees of relationship and becomes more or less 'collective', 'collective action' or 'collective conflict'


Nevertheless …. we are at a crossroads: innovation or 'return to the past', inclusion or gap, and this is because there is still a third of Italians who have never had access to the Internet, to date


Gap that also passes through 'a strange 51%' as it was said


And the gap exists, despite the fact that millions of e-mails and information circulate on the internet in one minute



'For me information is a value' Flavia Marzano


The digital divide is not resolved only with broadband: it is also a social, cultural, economic problem... What if new regulations are needed? I would not say! (F. Marzano)

Maybe more responsibility. Even digital natives have awareness issues


The rules are there, it would be enough if they were correctly applied.

From the 'old' ones:



To the new ones, which we have helped to create (Marzano) :


You don't need much else but it would certainly be useful:


Besides, I really like the word networks, in the plural and not in the singular, for democracy – said Flavia Marzano

So: awareness, awareness, awareness…


Any suggestions



So what to do?







In short, as always, Flavia's intervention was quick, and therefore not tiring, but at the same time it was extremely punctual and instructive.



Sign up to our newsletter!