viernes, 15 de mayo de 2015

Week picks #24


Founded in January of 2014, the Urban Democracy Lab is an initiative of the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University whose objective is to provide a space for scholars and practitioners to collaborate and exchange ideas for cultivating just, sustainable, and creative urban futures.  As a “lab,” we invite experimentation, provisional conclusions, and fresh approaches to entrenched urban problems. To ensure broad thinking, we welcome partnerships that bridge traditional disciplinary and institutional boundaries.

Our main areas of interest are:
  • Urban Ecology. The ecology of cities relies as much on human interactions with nature as it does on people’s relationships to one another. We are interested in how the environment and land use are governed, as well as how people can work together to decide upon, design, and influence the spaces in which they live.
  • Economic Equity. Economic equity and inequity exist in every detail of urban life. More often than not, cash and credit, rather than public will, determine who among us has access to resources such as good healthcare, well-maintained and affordable housing, strong schools, green spaces, and even quality groceries—and who of us does not. We examine the ways in which economic power is being redistributed in urban communities and the reverberations of these experiments on democratic participation.
  • Citizenship. The term “citizenship” conjures everything from documentation to civics education to planting a community garden. We think of citizenship in these ways, but also as a category that is constantly being redefined; at times, it is capacious and accessible, and, at other times, brutally restrictive. As national boundaries blur and global interdependencies strengthen, we ask: what does citizenship mean for the 21st century?
  • Arts and the City. One way to measure the vibrancy of a city is to look at what regard it has for the arts. Street art, public sculpture, pop-up galleries, music and dance performances, and museum exhibitions all underline the importance of creative pursuits that bring people together and communicate the variety of individual, urban experiences. We are interested in art that engages the public and invites people to interrogate their surroundings, and celebrate art that opens up greater possibilities for civic dialogue and social justice.
Participedia harnesses the power of collaboration to respond to a recent global phenomenon: the rapid development of experiments in new forms of participatory politics and governance around the world.

We live in a world in which citizens of most countries are asking for greater involvement in collective decisions. Many governments, non-governmental organizations, and even some corporations are responding by experimenting with ways to increase public participation.

Hundreds of thousands of participatory processes occur each year in almost every country in the world. They are occurring in a wide variety of political and policy problems. And they often supplement and sometimes compete with more traditional forms of politics, such as representative democracy.

Participedia responds to these developments by providing a low-cost, easy way for hundreds of researchers and practitioners from across the globe to catalogue and compare the performance of participatory political processes.

Practitioners, activists, government officials, and journalists will benefit from Participedia’s searchable database of cases, methods, and organizations, including knowledge about how well processes have worked for similar problems, under similar conditions.

Social scientists, policy analysts, democratic theorists, and other scholars will benefit from access to a dynamic, diverse, and growing source of comparable qualitative and quantitative data. We encourage you to contribute information on case studies, methods and organizations. The more you participate, the more you will appreciate what this site has to offer.


D-CENT is a Europe-wide project creating privacy-aware tools and applications for direct democracy and economic empowerment. Together with the citizens and developers, we are creating a decentralised social networking platform for large-scale collaboration and decision-making.The D-CENT platform is built together with citizens. Pilots running in Finland, Iceland and Spain gather use cases and knowledge from people who have already used online tools for direct democracy on an ad hoc basis. Direct Democracy/Political Empowerment means more direct engagement in democratic decision making.

D-CENT builds on Europe’s largest experiments in direct democracy, showing how millions of citizens can become engaged in deliberation, and decision-making:
  • Spain: 15M citizen movement, one of Europe’s most dynamic social movements
  • Iceland: Citizen Foundation, Better Reykjavik, and Better Iceland participation democracy websites
  • Finland: Open ministry Crowdsourced lawmaking site linked to Parliament
In the second phase of the project, these new approaches to empowerment are connected to economic platforms. Goal is to extend, scale and link up community digital social currencies, and create building blocks for an economy that links exchange to trust, deliberation and collective awareness.

Open, scalable, modular technology
D-CENT will be an open, modular and decentralized platform to build privacy-aware applications. The code-base will be described by open specifications and released under an open source license. Developers will be able to easily write API-based apps plus add new modules. The modular platform enables to share in real-time open data, democratic decision making tools, and digital social currency for the social good. The D-CENT platforms will go beyond data aggregation to enable deliberation and collective judgment, informed by feedback.


¿Qué es Civic Stack?
Civic Stack es el lugar donde juntamos y compartimos herramientas cívicas de distintos países y organizaciones para que puedas adaptarlas y utilizarlas en el lugar donde vivís.

¿Cuál es nuestro objetivo?
Nuestro objetivo es dar un fácil acceso a las herramientas cívicas digitales para que organizaciones activistas puedan incentivar a la participación ciudadana o fortalecer sus procesos organizativos y de toma de decisiones.
Al mismo tiempo, buscamos que las organizaciones que desarrollan tecnología se basen en el trabajo de otros, colaboren con el trabajo de otros, en vez de "reinventar la rueda".
¿Qué información aparece en Civic Stack?
En Civic Stack vas a encontrar información útil sobre cada herramienta (app o web): su objetivo, su alcance, su origen, su repositorio de GitHub. Es crowdsourced data, y las organizaciones pueden crear sus propios perfiles y cargar sus propias herramientas.

En Civic Stack, todas las herramientas que encuentres, y que vas a encontrar siempre, son open source!

Week picks series features different initiatives and projects I found or want to highlight on this blog. It will help me track new findings from community groups, startups or local governments working and delivering solutions relevant to the issues covered on this blog. I often bookmark them or save them on Tumblr.

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