DRI brought together 50 participants for a ‘Communicathon’ competition in Tbilisi to design communication campaigns and applications against the extreme political polarisation that pervades Georgia. Two proposals were each awarded a prize and DRI will support their implementation. They include an app that gives users a chance to discuss policy ideas and an interactive video with game features to encourage debate on the local level.
The participants, among them designers, developers, communications specialists and marketing experts, worked together for two days to create solutions addressing the issue of extreme political polarisation in Georgia.
Ambassador Hubert Knirsch of Germany kicked-off the event, followed by a lecture from Fernando Casal Bertoa, associate professor in Comparative Politics at the University of Nottingham, and a presentation by the chairperson of the Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA), Sulkhan Saladze. They presented the features of extreme political polarisation, its implications, consequences and impact on Georgian society. Recent elections in Georgia raised awareness on the topic and we noticed that compared to last year, extreme polarisation is better understood and more discussed now.
While our project last year mainly focused on raising awareness on the issue, this year we are trying to address the negative effects of extreme polarisation.
Among other ideas, participants presented video games to foster cooperation between supporters of different parties; a marketing campaign and platform bringing together people who are not supporters of the two leading parties but are interested in politics and want to have their voice heard; a crowdfunding platform for civic and political initiatives; a chatbot who would engage with users to hear their policy expectations; and a game that represents the allegorical picture of reality.
This second edition of Communicathon took place on 21-23 December and was organised by DRI, ForSet and GYLA in the framework of the project “Strengthening political pluralism in Georgia – Phase III” part of the German governmental programme “Expanding Cooperation with Civil Society in the Eastern Partnership Countries and Russia”, which is funded by the Federal Foreign Office of Germany.