Robert Bjarnason

President and Co-Founder, Citizens Foundation of Iceland

Robert Bjarnason
Robert Bjarnson is President and Co-Founder of the Citizens Foundation of Iceland, which provides open-source civic engagement platforms and won the pan-Europe e-democracy award at the 2011 World e-Gov Forum.

Created in 2008 in the wake of Iceland's economic collapse and loss of trust in politicians, the Citizens Foundation is made up of civic hackers who stepped in to encourage citizen participation in governance. Their key offering is the "Open Active Democracy" platform, Which helps citizens debate and prioritize issues. A notable incarnation is Betri Reykjavik (or "Better Reykjavik"), which launched a week before elections in Iceland's capital city, achieved a participation rate of 40% among voters, and became integrated permanently into the city's administration. The version available globally, Your Priorities, is already in use in Greece as a brainstorm for economics troubles.

An experienced entrepreneur, Robert started his first business (a software company) at the age of 12. As President of Miðheimar ehf, Iceland's first commercial internet service provider, he introduced the internet to Iceland and Denmark.


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