ICS Local 2013

28 Nov 2013 ore 09:45, Palazzo Clerici, sala degli specchi - Milano

Communication Cloud

New languages, sharing and transparency to engage citizens

After the Brussels event, focused on how to engage citizens to the European institutions, and the Rome event about the future of the contents, citizenship, values and transparency in the institutions, the third and last appointment of the International Communication Summit that was held at Milan on November 28th, gave space to a debate, at times very animated, about the new languages of communication and about sharing contents over the digital media.

The pressing rhythm of the event rises with Ben Hammersley’s intervention, one of the leading academics in the world about the effects of the new media over culture, politics and society:

“This is the era of the continuous review. People share online thoughts about everything, and those thoughts may have the same “weight” of a comment made by a professional journalist.  We then become used to believe that our thoughts are important, and this explains the birth of protesting movements such as Occupy. The institutions are still having a hard time understanding this evolution. If they were to oppose resistance to this dialogue, to the transparency request, they are destined to fall, and it will not be a nice view. They instead must embrace and kiss the citizens, and do it well, because no one accepts the contact of one who does not know how to hug us”.

Andrew Keen, among the most famous and controversial Internet gurus, who calls himself  the Silicon Valley’s Antichrist, does not exactly agrees and answers:

“Transparency! This word has been emptied out of its meaning. It is an obsession, nominated by everyone. The Irony is that, do you know which are the Silicon Valley’s companies that talk about it the most? The ones reluctant to reveal their secrets, which are Facebook and Google. The institutions are in crisis because Internet is making us used to be at the centre of an enormous client service where we all criticize but take no responsibility. What came out from the Occupy movement? Nothing. And from the Arabian Spring? A series of civil wars! Internet is telling us a big lie: that we are in the centre of the world and that there must be intimacy between us and institutions, all lies that are mining democracy. In the kiss between institutions and citizens that was talked about, the real challenge is to reject it! Talking about transparency, also in Italy there is an example to mention...Beppe Grillo, who has arrived where he is thanks to the transparency ideology, using this concept for his political interests, but does not implements it, he is not really transparent, he is the Google of the Italian politics”.

The debate launches some interesting ideas and the audience is interested. Franco Pomilio, the ICS Chairman explains the spirit of the initiative:

“What we are trying to develop with ICS is a new theory of the “citizen consumer” that goes beyond the American marketing theories and embraces a new idea of transparency, a big issue for the world and extremely interesting especially for the European culture, just as it is the relation institution-citizen.  We choose to analyse in depth these subjects at the cultural laboratory of ICS, and also through international art contests such as the Blumm Prize from Brussels, because artists usually interpret reality and anticipate it”.

The moderator of the event, Guido Romeo, Data&Business editor from Wired, brought back the debate to the original theme:

“We are living a crucial moment, where networks play a very important role. We must take sides and choose if we are for-kiss or against-kiss”.

Maria Teresa Brassiolo, President of Transparency International Italy, ICS partner, brings back the transparency subject:

“It is not easy, for really qualified people to find space on newspapers for explaining how things really are, and it is not easy to let know that in the public field there are many great people who want to better the institutions”.

 Nevertheless, regarding the theme of transparency, according to Brassiolo, Italy seems to have made a step ahead:

“This last law about corruption for the first time is not a lost occasion. There are many positive aspects". 

For Transparency International Italy, ICS Local is also the occasion to present in preview the awareness campaign #Svegliati (Wakeup, Ed.), introduced by the project officer Davide Del Monte, with a preoccupying issue, the one about functional illiteracy that in Italy is among the highest in the world:

“Many have trouble understanding the real meaning of the facts.  With this commercial we want to make people aware of the consequences that corruption may have in our everyday lives”.

Alessandra Scaglione, Chief Editor of Radio 24, referring to her last book that talks about public administration, explains that there is a true desire from the public officials side to communicate with the people but that this is not always easy because of two reasons:

“The habit of not being clear, of using an old bureaucratic language, but it is also the media’s fault, which frequently because of laziness, keeps on bringing up the concept that in the public things are not getting done, that no one works. The solution may be found by the public officers, who may go beyond the research of approval by the electors typical of politics”.

Federica Burini from the University of Bergamo, partner of the event, further widened the future outlook of the conference by talking about her research on the Cartographic collaborative systems of the web 2.0 in the urban European field.



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