Social media has been taking the world by storm for a number of years, but not all governments have been quick to embrace it. Iceland, however, has been responsive to the opportunities that social media can offer, particularly as they write a new constitution. To foster public engagement as the new constitution is drafted, Iceland’s government has already taken steps to include the citizenry in the process by hosting a forum of 1,000 randomly chosen Icelanders, who offered their views on the new constitution. But, in an effort to be even more inclusive, the government has decided to make use of all the openness that social media and the internet can offer. To facilitate the process of crowdsourcing the new constitution, the government has created a website, a Twitter account, a Facebook page, a Flickr photostream and a YouTube channel to allow open communication between the government and the citizenry. The public is encouraged to participate in each step of the process. And, as a bonus, those of us outside Iceland can also follow the process online!
A draft of the constitution is expected to be available in July and will then be presented to the citizens through a referendum. Check out Iceland’s web presence and the media attention they have been getting during this process, including coverage in The Guardian, The Washington Post and USA Today.