1:42 - Introduction by host Andrea Reimer to the context of the discussion of democracy during social distancing.
4:03 - Peter MacLeod introduces himself as founder of Mass LBP, discusses his work in deliberative democracy and the need for a plurality of online and off-line tactics.
7:29 - Ginger Gosnell Myers introduces herself as an Indigenous Fellow at the Centre for Dialogue working on decolonizing practices for city building, and her concerns around what’s to come in the next 12 to 18 months for democratic institutions.
10:14 - Lyndsay Poaps introduces herself as a former Executive Director of Leadnow, and her experience working with municipalities and doing online engagement. Discusses the coming together of municipalities and digital engagement; the digital divide; and data and Internet as essential services.
13:26 - John Richardson introduces himself as the CEO and founder of Ethelo. He thinks we will see a rapid acceleration of online engagement tools to fill the void left by social distancing, and discusses how and what values should be integrated.
16:28 - Andrea does a homelands acknowledgement, and asks a question to panelists: How do we do all this online, especially considering things like data storage laws and equity and inclusion? And is deliberative democracy and true listening possible online?
19:34 - Peter discusses the barrier of building relationships and a basis of trust to bringing things online; says we must define what we mean by democracy; notes that the use today of technologies being used for social mobilization and “care-mongering”.
23:20 - Lyndsay recommends that before jumping into online tools, go back to principles of what you’re trying to do and how you’re trying to engage people; remember that just because we have digital tools, doesn’t mean the processes will be faster.
26:48 - John discusses security and location of data requirements; why using a range of technologies and combinations of offline and online methods are important for inclusivity; the importance of maintaining social cohesion and creating buy-in for the decisions that are about to unfold.
31:30 - Ginger discusses the problems that First Nations communities have with broadband issues; their unequal access to far-away decision makers; The opportunities of social media platforms like Facebook as a platform for dialogue.
34:35 - Peter discusses how more needs to be done in use of technology, citizen deliberation, and different practices for community building; issues of representation in democratic exercises and cultivation of empathy for others in decision making.
39:10 - Lyndsay discusses Internet, data, and phone access as something that should be essential services; the issues with accessibility and the digital divide in Canada; using common social media platforms to mitigate this while being wary of ownership; the importance of a strong advocacy push from those in power.
43:45 - Andrea asks a question for Ginger: Is it even relevant to be talking about anything non-COVID related with the public right now? And when does that period end? How do you see this playing out?
44:17 - Ginger recommends refraining from attempting to consult and engage with First Nations who are dealing with their COVID response; focus on providing urgent material resources instead.
47:05 - John moves into a discussion of different types of technologies to fulfill different needs and different phases of engagement; deliberation, dialogue, decision making, ideation, etcetera.
48:10 - Andrea's question for Peter: "Can you give us an example of where an online engagement felt as good as an off-line engagement?"
48:38 - Peter gives an example of Canadian civic response to the Syrian refugee crisis using basic online tools; giving credit to the public’s ability to engage substantively and meaningfully in challenges; asks, does government make space for that?
49:55 - Lyndsay recommends that groups first learn about how these technologies work and how they can be deployed, and ask what you are trying to achieve before tackling the issue of how to make them safe and secure.
52:03 - Andrea's question for Ginger: the reality is, only so many people have the time, the money, the confidence and all the other resources they need to show up for a public hearing, so can you speak a bit to what you see in non indigenous communities?
52:42 - Ginger discusses how traditionally excluded groups are already creating their own digital communities with a voice.
54:02 - Andrea invites last takeaways and thoughts.
54:25 - Peter: “The force of technology, and the force of human and social development, at least within this country, is something that needs to be stitched together so that we don't inadvertently wind up in a situation where these very powerful technologies actually become a disempowering force. And that we can continue to use all of these mechanisms and many more besides to cultivate social solidarity, a sense of personal efficacy and opportunities for agency, and recognize that in terms of the larger democratic project, we're still just barely out of the gates.”
55:45 - Ginger: “I think we're witnessing a variety of things that we were told were impossible just you know, a few weeks ago, actually happening...I think for those of us who are privileged to engage with the public, we need to take note of these shifting values and these shifting priorities. We need to honor that. And we need to find some solidarity online so that when the dust settles, and we find that we're well enough to proceed with society, that we take notes of the changes that we actually want to see...we're all connected. We're keeping track of what's happening and what's not happening. And man, I've been waiting for this change for a long time. Don't tell me it can't be done. We're going to work together in the meantime, to make sure that all Canadians understand. Yes, this is possible. We're going to unite our voice and we're going to see what comes out of this.”
57:02 - Lyndsay: “I think it'll be probably a very prolific time with the work that everyone is doing around engagement, and that is incredibly exciting. And I would just offer that a lot of small groups compared to the institutions that you all work for have been innovating on this, trying to figure out how to connect with people in marginalized ways around the world. And this is an incredible opportunity to find those communities and learn from them. And there's been incredible work in the Global South around using just phones to do engagement with people. And I think that we skipped ahead too far. And there's an opportunity to go back and learn some of the best practices and a lot of different ways.”
1:00:09 - John: “As we go forward and think about digital engagement, it's important to think about this as a relationship with compensation. You know, many First Nations have been called upon to engage and provide advice and input, but there's a cost to carrying - a cost to people that are asked to engage. Traditionally in our democracy, we haven't really acknowledged that...for a large part, you know, it’s seen as you're being permitted to get engaged, permitted to give your opinion. I would be very interested to see us move forward to start to actually put a value on what it is to participate in democratic society. As we go ahead and engage with communities and stakeholders, think about the value that you're providing to the stakeholders in return for their engagement, because I think that's a very important factor going forward.”