Participa Lab: Herramientas para la Democracia

The beginning of the week has been followed by the attendance to the event Herramientas para la democracia: Abriendo la Participación held in Medialab Prado (Madrid). The event has gathered citizens from several Spanish cities and international experts in digital participation in order to discuss experiences on online tools for direct and deliberative democracy.

I arrived Madrid on Wednesday morning to enjoy the keynote of Mark Klein on “Collective Intelligence from the MIT”. Mark reviewed key concepts from social computing as the wisdom of the crowds and cyber-balkanization. He then described Deliberatorium, a “system that combines ideas from argumentation theory and social computing to help large numbers of people, distributed in space and time” and presented his latest research about high-speed idea filtering based on the elimination of bad ideas rather than the identification of the good ones.


The next session included workshops for the assessment of Decide Madrid regarding political frameworks and communication strategies. Both workshops were enriched by the participation of representatives from different Spanish city councils who explained their particular vision. The last session on Tuesday corresponded to the talk by Etienne Turpin about “What do cities tell us about their inhabitants’ desires?

On Wednesday (today), Gunnar Grímsson from the Citizens Foundation introduced the impressive progress of their tools Your Priorities, Better Reykjavik and Better Neighborhoods. These tools are currently part of the D-CENT ecosystem for the Icealandic pilot. Gunnar also provided key advices on how to make digital participation simple and effective.


The last session of the event focused on the data analysis of Decide Madrid. In this session, I presented with my colleagues Tomás Gómez and David Ruescas our results about:

  • The impact of the diffusion campaigns
  • The community structure of Decide Madrid
  • The proposals’ lifecycle
  • The users’ lifecycle
  • The modelling of online debates

These results will be released soon as part of the upcoming D-CENT deliverable… stay tuned 😉

Photo: @iacocoba

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