Iceland and its capital Reykjavik are among the places with the highest internet penetration rate and with the very high consumption of online communication tools.
Back in 2013, Rue89 (online newspaper) indicated that 93% of Icelandics were equipped with an internet connection and that they were also paying their taxes on the internet.
Partially due to its remote and isolated geographical location and to its climate, the island has favorable benefited from the raise of the internet, allowing its 332,529 inhabitants to be connected to each other.
The strong rallying of the Icelandic during the “Pot and Pan Revolution” in 2008 has been made possible thanks to the high use of Facebook by Icelandic, many rallying messages were flooding on it (among the population aged from 20 to 29 years old, almost 96% of Icelandic had a Facebook profile active).
In October 2008, it is the financial crisis, and the bankruptcy of its 3 main Icelandic banks which is at the origin of this kitchen appliances revolution (or pans) called the Iceland‘s « pot and pan revolution ».
To demonstrate their dissatisfaction, Icelandic got together during several months in front of their Parliament in Reykjavik, with kitchen utensils, cheese and eggs in order to have their government executives’ responsibility in this tragic financial crisis to be unveiled.
The Pot and Pan Revolution led to their parliament and government leaders’ resignation in January 2009.
This revolution generated a huge social rallying, an Assembly randomly drawn was discussing the future of the country and the Constituent Assembly Advisory elected was spreading to the creation of a new constitution.
The creation of this collaborative constitution was a milestone in the cooperative democracy 2.0. Some work meetings were even broadcasted in streaming on Youtube.
Unfortunately, even though the main lines of this cooperative constitution were approved, the parliament executives did not put this project in practice, which was a shame after such a rallying, since then the heat has cooled down and the rallying faded away. However, from this popular initiative, was born the Citizen’s Foundation.
The Citizen’s Foundation wanted to link citizens to their government in order for each party to listen to each other to build a society answering everyone’s needs. At least, this was its founders’ original goal: Róbert Bjarnason and Gunnar Grímsson.
Reykjavik’s inhabitants can submit their ideas to the vote by other inhabitants. The idea that gathers more and more “YES” is then showing up at the top of the list of reforms. The principle being to encourage a discussion between the inhabitants to have them adopting a new idea.
In this initiative, “a swimming pool was opened 24/24, and a street became pedestrian, the waste and garbage pickup was reformed, school trips were mandatory (based on the suggestion of a 9 year old girl)”
Iceland’s capital, is now famous for its very new age governance. From 2010 to 2014, its atypical mayor instilled newness on its capital. No one was foreseeing that the city will be led by the comedian, musician, comic, Jon Gnarr, but facing a wall and being tired of the situation with the banking system and their need for change, its candidacy became more serious than most people dared to believe. It is important to mention that the mayor of Reykjavik is the second political figure on the island, and its main employer with 8,000 local government officers, and a third of its inhabitants live in the capital, when another third work there.
After all, this city has been ruled for 4 years by the cooperation of punks, housewives and elected people from traditional parties and it is not doing so bad overall.
Master Droit de l’économie numérique
* credit photo Wikipedia Iceland Reykjavik