About the Public Sphere Project

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Mission Statement

The "Public Sphere" is a term created by German philosopher Jürgen Habermas. It's the sum total of information and communication "spaces" that people use when they exchange views, formulate opinions, and collaborate on projects. And it's upon and with these "spaces" that a democratic society is created, maintained, and changed. Without a thriving "public sphere" the people's ability to manage public affairs equitably and effectively is impossible. Although new digital networked technologies are only part of this picture, they obviously represent a major source of opportunities -- as well as challenges -- for those interested in the public sphere.

The Public Sphere Project (PSP) is an initiative of Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR) to help promote more effective and equitable public spheres all over the world. The Public Sphere Project is intended to provide a broad framework for a variety of interrelated activities and goals.

Our activities will focus on the following objectives:

• Advancing our understanding of opportunities and challenges of "public spheres" for democracy, education, education, social justice, economic development, and environmentalism.
• Developing and acting on strategies for creating and strengthening equitable and effective public spheres.
• Legitimizing and calling attention to these concerns.
• Building and supporting networks of activists, researchers, and citizens.
• Convening forums (both face-to-face and virtual) for sharing information, concerns, and ideas.
• Developing and disseminating useful, high-quality information for citizens, activists, students, policy-makers, and researchers.
• Evaluating and consulting with existing projects, systems, applications, and organizations all over the world.
• Developing and evaluating relevant new interfaces, applications, systems, and organizations.
• Helping to provide forums for underheard voices and issues.
• Helping to build collaborative and deliberative systems.
• Promoting interaction between the powerless and the powerful -- and people in between.
• Engaging and encouraging individuals, NGOs, governments, and businesses.

PSP Community Member Profiles