This week's editor

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Adam Ramsay is co-editor of OurKingdom.

The selective awareness of Wisdom 2.0

Take an ancient practice, remove it from its context, strip away its ethical imperatives and sell it for a profit. Is the goal of the corporate mindfulness movement to comfort the already comfortable? 

Democracy blooming at the margins: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Ukraine and Taiwan

The terrifying spectre in these countries is not of ravenous foreign capital, though there is plenty of experience with this too, but of the persistent suffering of being an oft bloodied geopolitical borderland.

A startup fever with a Middle Eastern twist

Young Arab entrepreneurs throughout the Middle Eastern region (the "youth bulge") are collaborating to revitalize their local economies and attracting international investment. 

Not enough demand for green growth? Ask for it.

If change is slow to come from international agreements or business boardrooms, it could come from interconnected people who measure their success based on the sustainable impact their money and actions have. Aggregate environmental and social impact is the key.

Turkish elections: money and the media

Measures aimed at limiting reporting by major independent news resources allowed Erdogan’s media to create an unquestioned atmosphere of electoral victory.

No-fly-list America

Sad as it may be, the Ibrahim case is a fairly benign example of ordinary Washington practices in the post-9/11 era. And one thing is clear, no-one is guarding the guards.

Creating a culture of participation

As part of our series of interviews with practitioners and activists, Participation Now researcher Hilde C. Stephansen spoke to Mikey Weinkove of The People Speak, an artists’ collective that creates ‘tools for the world to take over itself’. Their many projects include Talkaoke, a mobile talk show, and Who Wants To Be?, an ask-the-audience game show.

From Facebook movements to city square movements

Use of the internet has not led to a predominance of virtual actions and movements over mobilizations in ‘physical space’. On the contrary, since 2011 the occupation of urban public spaces - and more particularly symbolic spaces - has been a major feature of these movements.

From Occupy to online democracy: the Loomio story

Flexibility was important, with people being able to change their position if their mind was changed by a persuasive argument or new information. Democracy is a skill we can practice with people wherever we are. 

Engaging EU citizens in policy making

As part of our series of interviews with practitioners involved in public participation initiatives, Participation Now researcher Hilde C. Stephansen spoke to Deirdre Lee at Insight-NUI Galway, about Puzzled by Policy, a European Commission funded project that aimed to engage citizens in the policy making process.

Organising today: stewarding and responding to ‘the people’

38 degrees aims to bring people together to take action on the issues that matter to them. As part of our series of interviews with practitioners, Participation Now researcher Nick Mahony talked to Becky Jarvis and Rebecca Falcon at the 38 Degrees office in London about their work.

Introducing ‘Participation Now: meet the practitioners’

Participation Now is a new Open University web platform that hosts an accessible and expanding collection of over 120 of the most creative examples of contemporary public participation and engagement initiatives. Meet 'the Practitioners'.

Striking behaviour: Chinese workers discover a weapon against labour-market turmoil

In theory, workers in China are promised security through official trade union representation and the rule of the Communist Party. In practice, confronted with the endless churning of a globalised labour market, they are increasingly voting with their feet.

Politics makes biased fools of us all

With tapes of voice recordings of Erdogan being leaked, whether they are authentic or not, what we believe today is what we want to believe.

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression but conditions apply

Rayna Stamboliyska

Egypt has jailed journalists by the dozen; the Gulf is jailing people for tweets they send and surveillance companies are gearing them up. One does not need a crystal ball to see that repressive states in the MENA region will continue to suppress dissent.

The myth of the keyboard warrior: public participation and 38 Degrees

Preliminary findings after completing an ethnographic study of 38 Degrees suggest that this is a new type of organisation.

Corruption, Islamism, and Twitter in Turkey

Erdoğan has consolidated the executive, legislative, and the judicial powers under his authority; yet he has been unable to control another source of power— Twitter.

Insider knowledge

While the literal meaning of utopia is ‘no place’, an OU-topia could be almost any place. Even when physically isolated, an Open University student, engaged in studying, could be part of a ‘public’, involved in learning through dialogue. 

African cyberfeminism in the 21st century

How are African feminist activists navigating the potential and the power dynamics of communication in the digital age? Jennifer Radloff surveys the field in her introduction to Feminist Africa’s latest edition, “e-spaces : e-politics”.

Can Turkey handle free and fair elections?

The AKP government has been fervently pushing through legislation ahead of crucial local elections in March 2014 with the air of a heavily wounded giant whose actions are not the result of intelligent calculation or rationality so much as an instinct for survival.

How to discredit your democratic opponents in Egypt

The Egyptian military regime is pushing conspiracy theories to discredit their democratic, non-violent opponents. Aiming at several birds with one stone, with respect to their US backers, they are trying to have it both ways at once. Democracy and non-violence will fight back.

What would you do in a revolution?

Our reviewer went to the theatre to find out. Coney, a British theatre company, have framed a political experiment that places an audience at a crucial juncture in a nation's history: the success of a revolution. 

Turkey’s nightmarish adventures in censorship and surveillance on the internet

As the mayoral elections are around the corner, authoritarian surveillance and the censorship of political content is increasing on a frighteningly exponential scale.

The wild west of surveillance

Here we have an anatomy of a surveillance world that grows more, not less, powerful and full of itself with every passing moment and technological advance, a national security world whose global ambitions know no bounds.

We need to talk about the UK media war on women

While Dylan Farrow's child abuse allegations against Woody Allen hold the headlines, it is time for journalists to realise that sexual violence is not about evil individuals, Asian grooming gangs, or 1970s BBC culture.

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