In an effort to ensure that broader tech community as well as the general public don’t feel all decisions are been made in a governmental bubble, Fleur Pellerin has opened the Paris Capitale Numérique initiative up for input. Earlier this week, the governement launched an online questionnaire in French and English (great idea!) to gather ideas and general feedback on the project. You can access the questionnaire here in both languages through April 1st. This is a great opportunity for you to make your thoughts heard on everything from to where Paris Tech City will be located to how to most effectively develop the Paris tech ecosystem in the long-term. A first look at the early responses will take place at a government seminar on February 28th and the final report will be delivered by the Caisse des dépots in June.
Other than serving as an effective way to gather different points of view on the project, this effort is also a good example of the increasing prominence of open, participative government here in France (and elsewhere for that matter). There certainly has already been much criticism of many of the initial ideas, so offering people the ability to express reservations or offer suggestions will, at the very least, make people feel they are a part of the process. The worst thing the government could do once giving people this voice is politely read through the ideas, cast them to the side and then do what they intended to do from the beginning. People are going to want to see some proof that their ideas and yes even grivances have been considered. Here’s to hoping that process is truly participative in the sense that the governement will properly analyze and identify the best ideas and improve Paris Capitale Numérique for the better. Hey, they changed the name from ‘Paris Capitale Startup’ to ‘Paris Captiale Numerique’ (maybe it was because when you google it, our article delcaring it a ‘huge mistake’ pops up as the top result :-)). So maybe they can pivot on more pertinent issues like the location of Paris’ future ‘tech city’ (somewhere in Paris proper please!).