Process and Outcome

The goal of the exercise is threefold:

1. to check whether there were similar exercises in the past, and if applicable, draw lessons from them;

2. to validate or adapt the set of issues that should be considered7;

3. to consider each validated issue, by giving the following account:

i. examine the consequences of the shifts, paying particular attention to the examples on the notion of public space and on the expectations towards public authorities.

ii. sketch recommendations on new issue framings with a view to enhancing the policy-grip on what sustains and reinvigorates the public space and really matters to citizens.

6 For an extensive presentation of this argument, please refer to Dewandre (2011).

7 The choice of issues proposed under section 3 is highly contingent, and should not be perceived as exhaustive nor exclusive but rather as a proposal to trigger the process.

The Onlife Group has worked over 2012 and has chosen to deliver the outcome of this process in the form of an Onlife Manifesto. Indeed, it quickly appeared in the process that although the background of each member was different, there was a strong common basis, which was worth spelling out.

The Onlife Manifesto is the core output of this initiative, around which all members have gathered and consider a useful piece for triggering debates.

As may be easily understood, agreeing on a common engaging text has not been an easy task for such a multidisciplinary group! In order to enable each member to position him or herself relatively to the Manifesto, each contributor had the possibility to write Commentaries on the Manifesto. This generated a cloud of nuances and unveils the multiple perspectives under which this text can be read and understood.

Finally, each member wrapped up in a Chapter his or her contribution to the debate.

As suggested by the flower on the webpage, the Manifesto, the Commentaries and the Chapters form an output, which reflects both a strong common ground and a rich diversity. We hope that this material will be helpful and perhaps inspiring.

The outcome of this process will be the beginning of a wider discussion, both in meetings and through Futurium. Futurium is a vital tool aimed at encouraging participation from a wide range of actors, providing an open and interactive space for an inclusive thinking process. Participation from civil society groups, ICT professionals, and any individual who wish to join the debate is encouraged. Those interested in hosting workshops to discuss this outcome are invited to send in proposals addressed to This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it

Keeping the initiative moving and focused has been ensured by Luciano Floridi, Professor of Philosophy and Ethics of Information at the University of Oxford, Senior Research Fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute, and Fellow of St Cross College, Oxford; Charles Ess, Professor in Media Studies, Department of Media and Communication, University of Oslo; and Nicole Dewandre, advisor on societal issues at the Directorate General Communications Networks, Content, and Technology, of the European Commission, respectively chair, editor, and rapporteur. At the same time, this would not have been possible without the remarkable engagement of all members, nor with the most efficient support of Roua Abbas, Igor Caldeira, and Nicole Zwaaneveld.

This initiative[1] is part of the Digital Futures project.

  • [1] The content of this initiative does not reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Responsibility for the information and views expressed therein lies entirely with the members of the Onlife group.
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