Communications and Society Program

FOCAS 2011 Overview

*Update*: The Knight Foundation has released a video series, "The Digital Revolution & Democracy" featuring interviews and clips from FOCAS 2011. Watch it here, and join the discussion with the Twitter hashtag #infoneeds.

The FOCAS 2011 presentation by Professor Archon Fung is available for download or you can view it at Slideshare

The 2011 FOCAS, Networks and Citizenship, took place in Aspen, Colorado August 1-4, 2011. Leaders and experts from the public, private, and academic sectors explored the growing impact of network technologies on communities and citizenship.

FOCAS LogoThe advent of digital information and communications technologies has led to disruption of numerous industries, from music and newspapers to manufacturing and services.  The premise of the 2011 FOCAS was that the digital disruption has or will come, as well, to democratic institutions and processes.  By focusing on citizenship, i.e., the basic unit in a democracy, the Forum explored the similarities and differences of citizen-centric democracy to user-centric applications in the world of business—a bottom-up approach to informed and engaged communities.  It looked specifically at how citizens gain access to information in order to govern, receive information and services from their governments, have abilities to participate in democratic processes, and generally are a part of a locality’s and the world’s public spheres.  What are the emerging roles of individuals and institutions in this changing atmosphere?

***Watch the full three days of FOCAS live at***

The Twitter hashtag for this event is #FOCAS11.

To view the final agenda, please click here

To view the list of participants in the 2011FOCAS, click here.

To view a press release for this event, click here.

Live Schedule at

Tuesday, August 2, 2011
(all times Mountain Standard Time)
8:45 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.           Opening of Forum – Introductory Remarks         
9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.         Session I.  The Digital Disruption: How Digital Technology Changes Everything
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m        Session II.  Innovations in Citizenship

Wednesday, August 3, 2011
(all times Mountain Standard Time)
8:45 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.         Session III.  Citizenship in the Public Sphere
10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.       Session IV.  Global Citizenship
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.       Session V.  Digital Governance

Thrusday, August 4, 2010
(all times Mountain Standard Time)
8:45 a.m. – 10:40 a.m.          Session VI.  Reports of the Working Groups
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.        Session VII.  Policy Options Ahead

For more information, please contact Erin Silliman, project manager at (202) 736-5851 or at