Meeting and Interview proposal

Dear Minister Tang,
First let me thank you for the interview you just gave, it was fascinating.
I am an innovation professional from France and am currently doing research for a book on post-industrial transition. I will be in Taiwan in early December and was hoping to interview you or one of your collaborators. Is there an address where I could send you a more formal and detailed meeting proposal? If you would prefer ton contact me in a private message, please do: vince [dot] lassalle [at] gmail [dot] com.
Thank you very much,

Hi! I will actually be in Europe at that time: Madrid (November 25 to December 3), London, and then Paris (December 7-11).
Meanwhile let’s continue the Q&A here on Wiselike for the time being?

Thank you very much for the answer and I apologize for not having gotten back to you sooner. I was in rural parts of South Africa with little wifi coverage. I am now in Beijing and with a VPN, the internet is easier here.
I actually had heard from friends (some of which you may meet) back in France that you may be over there at those dates. How ironic!
As for the Q&A, thank you for offering to continue. I really appreciate it. How would you prefer to move forward? As you can imagine, I have a list of questions for a potential interview (I usually aim at questions for roughly a half-hour to an hour discussion depending on the interviewee). If that sounds ok to you I could send them to you. However, maybe a more “humane” and interactive way - also less time consuming for you - could be to set up a Skype call? Either way is fine with me (or if you think of another, I am all ears). Please advise.
I look forward to your answer.
Best Regards,

Please let’s use of this platform, preferably one question at a time — it actually takes less time for me to type than to speak. :slight_smile:

No problem at all. I will format them for the medium and post them later in the week. Thank you very much.

Dear Minister Tang,
Please find below the questions I was hoping to ask you, had we been able to meet in person. I also thought it maybe useful to briefly give a bit more context on my research.
I am an innovation professional from France and I am currently undertaking a 9-month study on post-industrial transition in preparation for a book ( This study spanning a dozen countries and structured with the help of the Sorbonne in Paris, focuses on the analysis of new models in various sectors of society (public governance, education, business models, corporate structures, etc.) so as to better qualify the underlying trends responsible for the transition as a whole.
Taiwan’s innovations in democratic governance (vTaiwan,, having a Digital Minister and the Sunflower Movement preceding all this of course) are very interesting to my study.
I have limited my questions to the following 10. I realise this maybe a lot to ask. If it is too time consuming for you to answer (though I am personally in no rush), please tell me and I will find a way to reduce it more. Hopefully, you will find the questions interesting.
I thank you very much for your time and generosity.
Best Regards,

  1. How would you define the difference(s) between representative democracy and direct democracy? Is the role (rights and responsibilities) of the Citizen changing today?
  2. You are currently travelling to Spain, Britain and France. Is today’s global interest in other forms of democracy just due to new technological possibilities or do you think there are other social or societal reasons driving this change?
  3. What movements, projects or examples inspire you outside of Taiwan?
  4. If democracy becomes more and more dependent on technology, how do you guarantee all Citizens access to these tools?
  5. and in general, the vTaiwan process is very impressive and has been wonderfully thought through. However, how do you guarantee that no special interest groups “hijack” the tools and influence policy at the stage of consultation? (For example coding an A.I. to create multiple fake profiles and change the discourse on
  6. What is your position on Liquid (or Delegative) Democracy? Do you wish it be implemented in some way in the Taiwanese political system?
  7. What is your position on Sortition? Do you wish it be implemented in some way in the Taiwanese political system?
  8. You are a strong advocate of transparency. How do you make sure normal citizens do not get overwhelmed and lose themselves in the huge amounts of data public institutions generate and could share with full or near-full transparency?
  9. While discussing automation and the possibility of Universal Basic Income, you mentioned the need to disentangle the notions of “work” and “jobs”. What is your position on the post-work narrative? Taiwan having an industry-heavy economy, how is the country preparing for this eventuality?
  10. I usually like finishing my interviews by asking: What question did I not ask but should have?

Dear Minister Tang,
I trust your European trip to Spain, Britain and France was a success and that you achieved what you set out to.
I wanted to humbly touch base with you and remind you of our ongoing conversation. I understand full well that you haven’t had a minute to yourself in the last couple weeks and your return to Taipei will coincide with catching up on many issues there, so please answer in your own time, I am already grateful you have agreed to this exchange.
As I mentioned previously, I do not know if the number of questions I have asked is too important. Please advise me so that it may not be too time consuming for you.
Thank you very much. I look forward to your answer. Welcome home.

Hi! I’ve just landed to Taiwan yesterday. :slight_smile: Replies below:

  1. Internet has enabled mass self-communication among citizens, resulting in an accelerated pace of assembly and speech.
    I consider access to an open Internet through digital tools as a human right.
    By their nature, such tools gives rise to “adhocracies”, where new forms of legitimacy are self-programmed through — and contained within the topologies of — these tools. Elected representatives are part of this network.
  2. Active participants in adhocracies tend to experience trust to their peers — termed “swift trust” — and distrust traditional authorities.
    This leads to a pressure on democratic governments to innovate and regain trust from citizens.
  3. The Free Software, Open Source and Free Culture movements have inspired me.
    People donated their talents, their time, their resources on furthering not only the freedom of software (freedoms to use ; to study the source ; to copy ; to change and apply improvements), but also people who have worked on the freedom of assembly and the freedom of speech, which underlies the whole free software movement.
    In particular, I would like to thank the late civic hacker Aaron Swartz, the Internet’s own child, for pioneering (not only in code, but also in writing) the radical transparency that I’m currently practicing in Taiwan.
  4. By ensuring broadband access as a basic right, and improving digital literacy throughout all populations. Technologists are also invited to design in an accessible, multi-modal way.
  5. By enforcing a “consensus threshold” for binding agenda — e.g. when there are two groups (60% and 40%), taking all of 60% and half of 40%, gives us 80% — mobilization on is ineffective and so people are disinclined to spam the engine.
    In cases of multiple groups or more extreme groups, Chris from development group came up with a multiplicative metric for each comment:
    Cons© = _{def} \prod _ {g \in G} 2 \min ( P_a(g, c) - 0.5, 0 )
    where G is the set of groups and P_a(g, c) is the probability of someone in group g agreeing with comment c.
  6. g0v contributors have experimented on it around 2013.
    As with participatory budgeting, it has the benefit of shifting the public discourse to policy domains instead of personalities. At the moment there are no specific plans to introducing LD into the administration.
  7. There are existing sortition processes for consultative hearings (登記抽籤制), however the binding power varies from case to case.
    I would like to focus on gradually increasing agenda-setting power of such groups, as well as on scalable listening technologies so all stakeholders can join — to some degree — even when they are not drawn by the sortition.
  8. Through collaboration with investigative journalists, data scientists, and other storytellers who can translate raw material into narratives.
  9. Post-work, as you described, is an eventuality — not necessarily happening in my lifetime, and not necessarily happening in a way that benefits everyone.
    Preparation involves a shift of focus of K-12 education on Autonomy, Communication and Common Good — three traits that we think will remain helpful throughout increased automation on cognitive work.
  10. I think these are great questions. :slight_smile:
    For a bit more context on trusting the collective intelligence of citizens, here is a recent speech I gave:

Dear Minister Tang,
I apologize. I have only just seen your answer. For some reason Wiselike did not update me. Thank you so much for having taken the time. I really appreciate it. You can find the interview in Q&A format on my site here:
I also would like to take the opportunity to wish you a very happy 2017. I truly wish you great success in all your undertakings.
If ever you are back in Paris (or New Zealand for the next two months) and have time, I would be very happy to buy you a cup of coffee and thank you in person, as well as probably continuing the conversation :slight_smile:
Best Regards and again thank you,