They is a merge beginning to happen.
With data being released and things like Londondatastore cropping up there are some interesting hack things being done.
Snook ran the ALISS workshop last week, and perhaps there wasn't alot of space for tech stuff until the very end of the workshop, which was a shame,but motion was being made towards a co-creative approach that some Scottish gov bodies left talking about the words co-design and grassroots.
I always feel like to encourage change, you have to slot yourself somewhere in the middle of the old hierarchical triangle. If noise is made by campaign, it's often not really listened to and viewed as a threat rather than a better opinion or way of doing something. By sitting in the middle, you can speak to both sides (often a role of a designer used to do participatory work) I always find facilitating a new way of seeing something, or doing something in this way is influential.
To really let go of power requires people to see things in a different way and to view things as a better way of doing them. You can't convince people to give up power, in fact, I don't think for a very long time, or if ever, people will give up power but if they can engage with the grassroots approach and meet somewhere in the middle, then you can start to facilitate change...
and we're working Scotland now as Snook, and hoping to engage more developers in work (we have Danyi working on mypolice) so I understand the value of working designers working alongside developers..you guys make stuff happen!!