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Power to the people: education and participation

We are witnessing the alleged return of citizens to the center of power - or, to say the least, to the center of the narrative. Español, Português

Image: Pixabay, Public Domain.

This piece is an excerpt from an original article published as part of the eBook El ecosistema de la Democracia Abierta series, which can be found here.

In our current society, it is easy to demonstrate the discursive change that incorporates models of open governance as a central driver of citizen participation. A participation that decouples, or attempts to decouple, the elites from power, generating new spaces which manage and consolidate ideas in relation to old governance paradigms. 

In order to arrive at this point, the occurrence of different historical milestones which have impacted the actions of citizens today have been necessary. This is thanks to the historical concept of citizenship and its social role, the multiple transformations of educational models, sophistication of notions of citizen participation and technology.

In this text, different aspects and occurrences that have impacted the actions of governments and the role of citizens since the age of the Roman Empire will be explored. 

In the same vein, it recreates the different processes that have affected the education system, and how education models have evolved over time, according to the economic and social circumstances of different eras.

Regarding citizen participation, it explains the different levels of this concept and its influence on public management, as well as other concepts of interest which discuss aspects such as processes of co-participation and empowerment.

Additionally, it refers to civic technology, its impact on current democratic processes and it even mentions tools and applications that promote citizen participation, making the most out of access to technology where possible.

Finally, the text reflects upon the importance of understanding where we come from and how our society has been constructed throughout the years, to then have sufficient tools to take on current challenges in a more accurate way.

Learning from the past to work in the future.

About the author

Pablo Collada es director ejecutivo de la Fundación Ciudadano Inteligente en Santiago de Chile, es un sociólogo mexicano que lleva más de 15 años trabajando en el ámbito del desarrollo social en temas como educación, juventud, género y participación ciudadana en América Latina y, más recientemente, en la intersección entre lo digital y lo presencial.

Pablo Collada is executive manager of the Fundación Ciudadano Inteligente in Santiago de Chile, is a Mexican sociologist who has been working for more than 15 years on social development in the fields of education, youth, gender and citizen participation and, more recently, on the intersection between face-to-face and digital experience


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