eGovBlog interview with Mr Eric Legale, organizer of the World e-Democracy Forum

Eric LegaleIt is a pleasure for eGovBlog to present today an exclusive interview with Eric Legale, Managing Director of ISSY MEDIA, in charge of the communication and Technologies of Information of the City of Issy-les-Moulineaux and organizer of the World e-Democracy Forum, one of the top international events in the field that will take place in ISSY-LES- MOULINEAUX, Paris France, 16-17 October 2008.

eGB: Mr. Legale, what are the main topics that will be addressed by this year’s edition of the Forum?

EL: The American net-campaign will be one of the top interesting session, of course. Because European people are really excited by what happen is US during this incredible campaign. Phil Noble will chair a special session on this “first campaign of the 21st century” with representatives from Democrats and Republicans. As special guest, he has invited Andrew Rasiej, one of the best American specialists, founder of and of the “Personal Democracy Forum”.

But we will speak also about the main challenges of the information society: How to reduce concretely the digital divide? How to offer the most efficient public service to citizens? How to involve citizens themselves in the process with the web 2.0? How to protect citizens in respect of their private life? What are the new services suggested by wireless technologies?

eGB: Given your experience with the Forum, who would you say ‘should’ attend to this event?

EL: Every citizen interested by the future of democracy should be interested by the debates of the World eDemocracy Forum. What we try to do is to allow people (citizens, specialists, private sector, NGOs, politicians, journalists, etc.) to share their experiences, their questions, their doubts. Everywhere in the world, we are asking the same question: how to live better and safer? Don’t reinvent the wheel, we have just to ask to our colleagues around the world. For example, the World eDemocracy Forum is also the place where a lot of European projects members are coming, just for networking because it is the place where you can meet people sharing the same idea than you: the world is changing thanks to technologies and we are contributing for a part of it.

eGB: Can you comment on the Trophy Ceremony of e-Democracy that is scheduled for day 2?

EL: If a lot of experiences exists around the world, they are not enough known by the population. With the eDemocracy Awards, we want to underline people, websites, organizations who do something. We have four categories: the International Award, with PoliticsOnline, the European Award with Politech Institute, the French Award with the “Club de l’Hyper République” and the Forum Award.

eGB: We have learned that delegates attending the Forum will be invited to take part in a supplementary Workshop on secure electronic document exchange for administrations. Can you give us a few words on that?

EL: Because the World eDemocracy Award is the place where eDemocracy and eGovernment specialists are coming, some organizations asked me to have a parallel session during the Forum or, because we don’t have place enough, before or after the Forum. The day before, on Wednesday October 15th, e-Forum, a not-for-profit Association that brings together all interested parties active in the field of eGovernment in Europe, from both the private and public sectors, will organize a workshop open to everyone. In the same time, the Politech Institute will organize also a workshop on eParticipation.

eGB: In which way would you say that this edition of the World E-Democracy Forum is something unique for practitioners and other stakeholders?

EL:I don’t know if the World eDemocracy Forum is unique because I know a lot of others conferences very interesting. But I think that you can meet in Paris the main specialists of eDemocracy and eGovernment in the same place and in a special environment (the gala dinner on board a boat to discover Paris by night is a very appreciated memory!).

eGB: Finally, how can interested people register or get more information about the Forum?

EL: The best is to visit the official website: to have more information and to register online. The Forum is free except for companies.