People with Ideas

Digital Civics draws from a rich interdisciplinary formulation to develop a robust approach to questions of life in the digital age. Here are some people with ideas who have shaped the landscape of digital civics. This includes foundational documents on human rights (such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights) the Philosophy of Information (as espoused by Luciano Floridi), an understanding of ethics for the digital age (as described in the work of Charles Ess), and historical context (such as Media Ecologists like Marshall McLuhan and Lewis Mumford).

Short on time?
If I had to pick three articles that  help understand the world around us:

Some Useful Foundational Resources for Digital Civics: A developing list

Clements, E. (2017). Digital Civics in Pedagogy: A response to the challenges of digital convergence in the educational environment (Unpublished doctoral thesis). Dublin Institute of Technology.

Elwell, J. S. (2014). The transmediated self: Life between the digital and the analog. Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, 20(2), 233-249. doi:10.1177/1354856513501423

Ess, C., & Fossheim, H. (2013). Personal Data: Changing Selves, Changing Privacies. In M. Hildebrandt, K. O’Hara, & M. Waidner (Eds.), Digital Enlightenment Yearbook 2013: The Value of Personal Data. IOS Press.

Ess, C. (2011). Self, Community, and Ethics in Digital Mediatized Worlds. In C. Ess & Thorseth, M. (Eds.), Trust and Virtual Worlds: Contemporary Perspectives. New York: Peter Lang Publishing.

Ess, C. (2010). The Embodied Self in a Digital Age: Possibilities, Risks, and Prospects for a Pluralistic (democratic/liberal) Future? Nordicom Information, 32(2).

Ess, C (2010). Trust and New Communications Technologies: Vicious Circles, Virtuous Circles, Possible Futures. Knowledge, Technology & Policy, 23(3-4), 287-305.

Ess, C. (2009). Digital Media Ethics. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Ess, C. (2007). Cybernetic Pluralism in an Emerging Global Information and Computing Ethics. International Review of Information Ethics, 7. 

Ess, C. (2006). Ethical Pluralism and Global Information Ethics. Ethics and Information Technology, 8(4), 215-226.

Floridi, L. (2014). The Fourth Revolution: How the infosphere is reshaping human reality. Oxford University Press.

Floridi, L. (2013). The Ethics of Information. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Floridi, L. (2010). The Cambridge handbook of information and computer ethics. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Floridi, L. (2010). Information – a Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Floridi, L. (2009). The Information Society and its Philosophy. The Information Society, 25(3), 153-158.

Floridi, L. (2009). Luciano Floridi on the Fourth Revolution. Philosophy Bites, Podcast.

Floridi, L. (2008). A Defence of Informational Structural Realism, Synthese, 161(2), 219-253.

Floridi, L. (2007). A look into the future impact of ICT on our lives. The Information Society, (23)1, 59-64. 

Floridi, L. (2002). What is the philosophy of information. Metaphilosophy, 33(1/2). 

Floridi, L. (1999). Philosophy and Computing: An Introduction. Routledge.

Heidegger, M. (1962). Being and Time. (trans.) Macquarrie, J. & Robinson, E. New York: Harper & Row.

Innis, H. (1950). Empire and Communications. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Innis, H., (1947). Minerva’s Owl. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Canada.

Jenkins, H. (2006a). Convergence culture: where old and new media collide. New York: New York University Press.

McLuhan, M., Fiore, Q. (1967). The Medium is the Massage: An Inventory of Effects. New York: Random House.

McLuhan, M. (1964). Understanding Media: The extensions of man. New York: Routledge.

McLuhan, M. (1962). Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Mumford, L. (1966). Technics and Human Development: Myth of the Machine: 1, New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

Mumford, L. (1934). Technics and Civilization. New York: Harcourt, Brace & Company Inc.

Ong, W. (1982). Orality and Literacy, the Technologizing of the Word. London and New York: Methuen.

Plato, Phaedrus. Plato in Twelve Volumes, Vol. 9 translated by Harold N. Fowler. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1925. Perseus. Available at:

Plato, The Republic The Republic of Plato. James Adam. 1902. Cambridge. Cambridge University Press. Perseus. Available at:

Silverstone, R. (2004). Regulation, media literacy and media civics. Media, Culture & Society, 26(3), 440-449.

Ulansey, D. (2000). Culture Transition and Spiritual Transformation: From Alexander the Great to Cyberspace. In Singer, T. (ed.) The Vision Thing: Myth, Politics, and Psyche in the World. London & New York, Routledge, 213-31.

UN General Assembly (1948). Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 10 December 1948, 217 A (III). Available at: 

Vallor, S. (2016). Technology and the Virtues: A philosophical guide to a future worth wanting. Oxford University Press.

Some Useful Sites:

European Commission. The Onlife Initiative:

Luciano Floridi’s Website:

Media Ecology Association: