From November 10 to 12, I went to London to the kick-off meeting of D-CENT project, selected under the first FP7 call of Collective Awareness Platforms for Sustainability and Social Innovation.
The agenda included a meeting where the partners explained the corresponding work packages. In my case, as researcher of Barcelona Media, I explained, with my colleagues Arnau Monterde and David Laniado, the data analysis techniques that we will provide due to our experience in DatAnalysis15M research network.
In the other two days, there was held a very interesting workshop about Lean UX, the agile methodology that will be used in this project. The workshop was given by Jeff Gothelf, principal at Neo NYC (partner of the consortium) and author of “Lean UX: Applying lean principles to improve user experience“.
D-CENT will accelerate innovation in the use of the Internet to help communities share data and collaborate to address major societal challenges. Despite its huge potential to transform everyday democratic decision making or to enable citizens to shape their own economic destiny, today’s Internet is becoming highly centralised. D-CENT will create a bottom-up, decentralised, open platform for collective awareness based on integrating already successful open-source codebases. Its practical experiments will address:
- Democratic engagement, building on Europe’s largest experiments in direct democracy – the Open Ministry linked into parliament in Finland, and the involvement of the whole population in shaping a new wiki-constitution in Iceland – as well as one of Europe’s most dynamic social movements, in Spain. These will show how millions of citizens can become engaged in day-to-day deliberation, and decision-making.
- The connection of these new approaches to empowerment to economic platforms. Freecoin, a new disruptive digital social currency based on Bitcoin, will be deployed in Finland, Iceland and Spain to encourage the sharing economy and to extend, scale and link up community currencies. Our aim is that these tools will then be spread to currencies currently being implemented in France, the Netherlands, and the UK, creating the building blocks for an economy that links exchange to trust, deliberation, and collective awareness.
D-CENT will provide civil society with immediately useable digital tools for social innovation and sustainability. But it will also grow longer-term alternatives to today’s highly centralised platforms and power structures