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While the French Civic Tech - or “Technologie civique” - community has been growing for about ten years, it's gained significant traction only in the last 5 years. Originally mainly supported by local governments, the visibility of the scene has been highly accelerated by the multiplication of international events in Paris – such as the Open Government Partnership Summit – along with dramatic political moments – especially the recent Yellow vests crisis, followed by Le Grand Débat national.
French Civic Tech has at least two local cultural specificities. First, most of the organizations or projects are developed around Paris, a result of the highly centralized structure of France and the existence of local infrastructures. Then, a high proportion of projects are built in interaction with the government, notably because of a tradition of public funding and public impulsion, but also the difficulty to develop business models around politics in France due to (thanks to) strict regulation. These blurred lines probably contribute to confusion around the definition of civic tech, often overlapping and mixed up with gov tech, political activism, social innovation or public innovation.
- Exploring data and freedom in civic tech, and the use of tech for participation, by CNIL (PDF, written in French)
- A critical exploration of the future of civic tech, the culmination of a workshop series with scholars, activists, and experts. (PDF). By CNIL (written in French)
- Des civictechs aux civicthèques : où sont les lieux de nos mobilisations ?
Samuel Roumeau at Ouishare
- Avec sa “boîte à outils”, le Labo de Démocratie Ouverte dynamise les conseils de quartier
Démocratie Ouverte on Medium
- Alerte / en marche vers la privatisation de la démocratie ?
Quitterie de Villepin at Mediapart
Curated by Clémence Pène
Clémence Pène is a former advisor to the Mayor of Paris, in charge of her digital strategy and open government. As a PhD candidate researching on campaigns and activism in France and in the United States, she started to build an international network in the field of civic innovation and digital advocacy. She has been awarded with a Fulbright Fellowship and two Google fellowships for young innovators.
She is the President of the Personal Democracy Forum France network, a yearly civic tech event, imported from New York to Paris. Clémence teaches Political Science at La Sorbonne in Paris.
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