How do politicians, academics and activists perceive the limits of representative democracy in 2017 and for the years to come? Can current institutions handle radically new practices? Will civic technologies really change politics?

The French Institute and Citizen OS held a debate night about the digital transformation of our political systems called “COSCON_01: Political Representation in a Digital Age”. We discussed e-democracy, e-participation, and e-government with experts from all over Europe. It was the start of our COSCON conference series.

Video of the panel discussion:



Pierre-Louis Rolle works for the Digital Agency of the French Ministry of Economics. Before that he was in charge of e-participation at the city of Nanterre where they set up a citizen engagement platform running on DemocracyOS. He’s one of the leaders of Open Democracy Now, the cycle of hackathons that gather activists and public officials to work on open source tools. Pierre-Louis also teaches governance in the digital age at the university Sciences Po St-Germain-en-Laye.


Marco Deseriis received his PhD from New York University in 2011. His writings explore cultural and political dimensions of Internet-based activism, more specifically the relationship between networked media and collective identities, and the rise of distributed forms of authorship. Marco’s current research focuses on the rise of participatory techno-politics and on a comparative analysis of the political values embedded in decision-making software such as LiquidFeedback, AdHocracy, and DemocracyOS.


Maija Jäske is a PhD candidate in Political Science at the University of Turku. Her research interests include crowdsourcing in legislative practices and other democratic innovations. Her most recent work focuses on “soft” forms of direct democracy in Finland, such as the Finnish Citizens’ Initiatives and advisory referendums in Finnish local governments.


The panel discussion was moderated by our research associate Kadi Maria Vooglaid.


The pictures of our very first COSCON can be found at our Facebook page.