1 Jan 2017

Taiwan: rebuilding democracy with tech

From The Weekend, 11:06 am on 1 January 2017
Taiwan Cabinet Minister Audrey Tang

Taiwan Cabinet Minister Audrey Tang Photo: RNZ/Shaun D Wilson

Last year, shortly after visiting New Zealand, Taiwanese political activist and civic hacker Audrey Tang was appointed as a Cabinet Minister with special responsibility for solving communication quandaries within and outside government - making her the first transgender person appointed to Taiwan's executive.

Audrey's background includes helping design Apple's voice recognition technology, Siri, and creating social media that helps organisations learn about how employee's work flow and institutional knowledge.

Audrey was closely involved with Taiwan's Occupy movement, and was a key player in helping democratise decision-making after the unpopularity of the previous government.

Taiwan is a young democracy going through rapid changes - many of them facilitated by an attitude of 'open government' - that would've have seemed impossible a short time ago.

After her rapturously received talk at the tech focused Open Source//Open Society conference, Audrey spoke to The Weekend producer Shaun D Wilson.