This is the first of a two-part interview with Audrey Tang, Digital Minister of Taiwan. We discuss Taiwan’s 2014 Sunflower Student Movement, which marked the first time the country’s legislature has been occupied by citizens, and which led to a radical new phase for Taiwanese democracy.
How have digital networks facilitated the emergence of horizontal power and leaderless organization in Taiwan? Is the continuous participation in Taiwan’s ongoing experiment in direct democracy responsible for reducing online trolling and creating constructive digital communities there? And how has the Taiwanese experience, from Sunflower onwards, pointed the way to what’s happening right now, in Hong Kong’s own Umbrella movement?