TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's notorious 'Digital Minister' of the Executive Yuan, Audrey Tang (唐鳳), held the first ever "vTaiwan Open Consultation & Participation Officers Training" in New York City June 11 and June 12.
Tang's lecture on digital governance at last year's Personal Democracy Forum (PDF) in New York City received a very warm welcome. The PDF organizers felt that Taiwan's experience in particular is worth learning from and spent over a year arranging the visit of Tang and seven other government officials.
This year Tang stayed in New York City from June 11 through June 17. On June 11 and June 12 Tang led a workshop, "vTaiwan Open Consultation & Participation Officers Training," for 30 participants.
The group focused on vTaiwan, "an online-offline consultation process which brings together government ministries, elected representatives, scholars, experts, business leaders, civil society organizations and citizens," and the ways which democratic governance can be best approached by political officials and by citizens alike, reported CNA. To date over 80% of the issues discussed through vTaiwan have led to government action in Taiwan.
Although Tang has played an active role in of hundreds of participatory democracy forums before, this was the first time Tang took the classroom abroad to share her experience in Taiwan, and this was also the first time she carried out such discussions in English.
Tang told CNA reporters that the goal of these meetings is not to simply travel around to different places, but to engage listeners in a way that after the lecture, they become the teachers, and can pass on the format of the discussions and knowledge gained in practice in New York City.
Tang and her group will travel to Canada in November to continue sharing the experiences of Taiwan's open governance and taking part in a participatory democracy.