Today ideamocracy.it was launched, a competition that we organize for the Emilia-Romagna region. It’s a small initiative, but we hope it’s significant. Basically, the idea is very simple. The Emilia-Romagna region has long been active in e-democracy initiatives, but they now want to innovate and identify new, disruptive opportunities. In particular, they want to use technology to widen the range of participants in e-democracy initiatives, through three technological opportunities: online games, social network and mobile apps, if properly combined and well designed, can transform the cost of participation into a direct benefit by leveraging fun, play, instant participation and vanity.

Ideamocracy is a competition for ideas for e-democracy. I’ve written about the advantages of prizes before, and we co-organized the Prize Summit a few weeks ago in London . Today, there is an explosion (and a risk of inflation) of competitions, namely for apps based on public data such as the EU Open Data Challenge. Ideamocracy is slightly different because:

– it targets political participation rather than public services

– it aims at leveraging ideas, rather than working apps

Every such competition is a bet, you never know how many people are likely to participate. In my experience, what matters is an inspiring jury, good communication, and a well designed question. I couldnt hope for a better jury. And according to the reactions of Twitter, we seem to have generated positive feedback. Most of all, ideamocracy makes sense because it addresses a clear, specific need of the Emilia-Romagna region, as Andrea di Maio often recommends.

Let’s see how it goes… feedback is welcome.