FAQs

Who has control over our data?

Internet-based digital technologies offer more and more apps, platforms and smart devices that generate, store and use lots of our personal data. This information travels around the world under dubious privacy and security conditions. Our data are crossed with other data and generate profiles that allow commercial and governmental decisions to be taken without our knowledge or regardless of our interests. Consequently some people are starting to speak out in defence of internet users’ individual privacy and civil liberties, and promote individual and collective empowerment actions.

What is digital sovereignty?

Digital sovereignty refers to the capacity of a person or a group to make their own decisions regarding what is done with their data, their actions using technology and the use of that technology, and the search for greater independence from the commercial power of multinationals and states.

What is the maker community?

The maker movement uses software industry tools to revolutionise the way we make tangible objects and promote learning through experience. Although it is modelled on DIY (Do It Yourself) , it promotes teamwork, community knowledge production and attainment, and replacing individualism with DIWO (Do It With Others).

The maker movement is having a growing impact, making inroads into society, changing identity and the meaning of consumption, and doing away with the boundaries between consumers and creators. Many observers feel that this trend will change the way we think about the relations between material production, technology, innovation and society.

What is the plural economy?

It’s a diverse, distributed, hybrid, inclusive economy where what we do together is increasingly common, for thinking up new, imaginative forms of public-private and public-community partnerships. And being able to generate a local economy capable of withstanding the whirlpools of the global economy’s fleeting, speculative currents.

What is the digital divide?

The so-called digital divide refers to the social and economic differences between people who have access to new technologies and those who don’t. It also refers to the differences between groups regarding the capacity of each one to use information and communication technologies (ICTs) effectively. These are due to their different literacy levels and learning capacity, which usually depend on their age.

What is open data?

Open data consists of all the data sets that are made available to the general public so they can be reused and republished without any restrictions.

For content to be open, it has to meet three principles: it has to give the public the right to use, reuse and adapt it to their own needs, the right to distribute it and the right to share it. The only restriction is that the resulting product has to follow the principle of being open.

 

And big data?

Big data is the name given to data sets, procedures and IT applications which, by their volume, nature and processing speed are beyond the capacity of normal IT systems.

Processing large data sets is a way of detecting patterns in them and making valid predictions for making decisions. In cities, information on traffic, utilities and the state of services enables local councils to anticipate and improve them.

 

What is Digital Social Innovation (DSI)?

DSI solutions are a response to social challenges that have been developed thanks to technological advances such as open code and open data movements, low-cost freeware, crowdsourcing and the Internet of Things (IoT).

The people who belong to this movement are working to empower ordinary citizens and involve them in civic activities. This generates new ways of building social movements, delivering public services and having a social impact on areas such as health, education, democracy, the environment, transport and housing.

DSI has the potential for improving the way our public services, communities and businesses work.