Society has undergone radical changes in the last 200 years in a wide range of areas including the economy, culture, technology and urban planning. However, the democratic system has hardly developed. Social networks which extract huge amounts of data on our political behaviour, the processing of these data through sophisticated AI systems, greater social gaps, precariousness and lack of time in an increasingly fast-moving world etcetera, all threaten to weaken the democratic quality of our institutions. Nevertheless, alternatives are opening up for renovating, improving and exploring new forms of democracy. We need to move towards a more participatory, inclusive, open, direct and fair city. It is time we built a democracy for the 21st century, using contemporary technologies: a networked democracy of, by and for the people.
Taking up this challenge, we have come together in an interdisciplinary,inter-institutional group which has been opening up our work to the public, involving not only City Council workers but also researchers, communicators, programmers, engineers and, indeed, anyone interested. The challenge is enormous and we need more human and intellectual resources.
We research, design, develop and standardise new participatory models and digital environments for collaborative coordination and participatory democracy.
We develop technologies for communication, collaboration and internal participation in the City Council.
We offer R&D&i in the area of participatory and democratic governance with regard to the city's specific problems, and for the City Council as a whole.
We promote competition, knowledge and critical skills, with and among city residents, for democratic participation.
We champion citizen rights in digital spaces.