fortune or its reverse the seldom-updated lackaff.net blog

22Jun/100

Rebooting democracy in Iceland: Bibliography of post-kreppa crowdsourcing news

Eyjafjallajökull by fridgeirsson

While the Eyjafjallajökull eruption seems to have subsided, the Icelandic people continue to reckon with the aftereffects of their country's financial collapse. Although currently overshadowed by the woes of the Eurozone, the economic situation for Icelanders remains grim. While the economic crisis or kreppa is ongoing, there have been several encouraging narratives that have caught my attention and interest. The kreppa is generally understood to be a problem of opaque, corrupt politics as much as it is one of economics. The Icelandic media is eager to identify green shoots of progress, particularly those in the form of grassroots organizing, small businesses, and tech and media entrepreneurship. Many Icelanders hope that they can innovate their way out of this crisis. My interest focuses on this unusual confluence of populist demand for political reform with a surprising array of commercial and noncommercial initiatives to promote economic and political innovation.

One of the leitmotifs of kreppa blogosphere chatter is that Iceland has nowhere to go but up, thus there is nothing to be lost in sociopolitical experimentation. With a highly literate national population of just a few hundred thousand and excellent communications infrastructure, radical ideas and plans seem to move quickly from planning to implementation. The Icelandic Modern Media Initiative, for example, aims to legally establish Iceland as a jurisdiction that radically supports investigative journalism and free expression, and has attracted significant support. Other "experiments" seem to have lost steam as participants can quickly realign their attention and priorities. One influential institution in the area of entrepreneurial experimentation and political "crowdsourcing" has been the Ministry of Ideas (Hugmyndaráðuneytið). While I plan to write more about the Ministry and its innovation and crowdsourcing efforts in the future, I currently have a small bibliography of media reports in languages I can read. Maybe this will be useful to others.

Gehrman, A. (2009, November 19). Einmal über alles reden. Zeit Online. http://www.zeit.de/2009/48/WOS-Island?page=all

Gudjonsson, G. M. (2009, June) Ministry of Ideas: Overview of grassroot activities in Iceland (slides). http://www.slideshare.net/gudjon/ministry-of-ideas-overview-of-grassroot-projects-in-iceland-june-2009

Holmsteinn, G. (2010, April). Ministry of Ideas explained. Gunnar Holmsteinn talks. http://gunniho.com/post/486461365/ministryofideas

Iceland's government to cooperate with the anthill. (2009, November 24).  Iceland Review Onlinehttps://secure.icelandreview.com/icelandreview/daily_news/?cat_id=16567&ew_0_a_id=352443

Integrity named Iceland's most important value. (2009, November 16). Iceland Review Onlinehttps://secure.icelandreview.com/icelandreview/search/news/Default.asp?ew_0_a_id=352029

Knight, S. (2009, November 13). In Iceland, trying to reprogram government. OhMyGov!http://ohmygov.com/blogs/general_news/archive/2009/11/13/in-iceland-trying-to-reprogram-government.aspx

Knight, S. (2010, June 10). Banksters, Corrupt Politicians Face Prosecution - in Iceland. truthout. http://www.truth-out.org/special-investigative-report-inspires-reformers-terrifies-powerful-iceland60279

Legaspi, A. (2010, January 11). The many ants of Iceland. Foreign Policyhttp://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/01/11/the_many_ants_of_iceland

Pfeil, M. & Roloff, L. Y. (2009, July). Alles auf anfang. brandeinsOnlinehttp://www.brandeins.de/archiv/magazin/bewegt-euch/artikel/alles-auf-anfang.html

Quinn, B. (2010, March 4). After banking bust, Iceland turns to free-market innovation. Christian Science Monitorhttp://www.csmonitor.com/World/Global-Issues/2010/0304/After-banking-bust-Iceland-turns-to-free-market-innovation

Sigmundsdóttir, A. (2009, February 14). Ministering to the grass root. Iceland Weather Reporthttp://icelandweatherreport.com/2009/02/ministering-to-the-grass-root.html

Sigmundsdóttir, A. (2009, November 11). Tired of waiting, Icelanders gather to create a roadmap for the future. Huffington Posthttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/alda-sigmundsdottir/tired-of-waiting-icelande_b_349420.html

Sigmundsdóttir, A. (2009, November 15). A rundown of the Assembly results. Iceland Weather Reporthttp://icelandweatherreport.com/2009/11/a-rundown-of-the-assembly-results.html

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