State of Civil Society 2015


Lucy Bernholz


Civicus has released its annual State of Civil Society Report for 2015 – the full download is here.

I’m proud to have contributed an essay on digital civil society – the first such analysis I believe. Here’s a teaser:

“Digital data and infrastructure are core mechanisms for public discourse, fundamental elements of public utility, and instrumental to civil rights, information access, medical care, innovation, education and countless other dimensions of modern life. …

Six fundamental principles of civil society are being remade in the digital age. These are:

  1. Free speech and expression
  2. Peaceful assembly
  3. Privacy
  4. Consent
  5. Ownership
  6. Public accountability

Putting these principles into action digitally will be the context for and shape of civil society to come.”

And here’s the download to my full essay.

On a related note, I am late to the work of John Scalzi, the near future science fiction writer, but I will be doing my best to consume all of his novels by the end of the summer. I just read Lock In in one evening. If you want to read a fictional take on the year 2030 and a thriller concerning an-eerily- and-easily-imaginable version of peaceful assembly, privacy, disability rights, human rights, democracy, and politics, I highly recommend it.

Lucy Bernholz is a research fellow at Stanford University’s Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, where she co-leads the Digital Civil Society Lab.

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