OIDP 2018

Barcelona held this year the Observatorio Internacional de la Democracia Participativa (OIDP) conference. This is an annual event in which politicians, researchers and activists meet to discuss the role of cities in promoting participatory practices of democracy. Given that the City Council co-organized this edition, the team at the Laboratory for Democratic Innovation – LID were asked to actively contributed to the curatorship of the program. Besides the many talks/panels/workshops proposed by LID, two activities explicitly focused on disseminating our ongoing projects. First, Xabier E. Barandiaran shared the main ideas behind Decidim in a panel about “Digital technology and direct democracy” together with Marjatta Peltonen (Helsinki City Council) and Yu-Shan Tseng (Durham University), and moderated by Pedro Álvarez (Participa Lab – Medialab-Prado).

Then, I organized a workshop with Yago Bermejo (Participa Lab – Medialab-Prado) about “Citizen labs for democratic governance“. This second session was motivated by the increasing trend in local institutions around the world to open up citizen laboratories. These spaces are expected to promote citizen innovation through participation and digital technologies. Among its different variants (medialabs, living labs, hacklabs, etc.) there is a growing interest in gov labs: governance laboratories. In this way, the workshop served to review projects promoted by Participa Lab and LID and to discuss how to experiment and innovate from these spaces for a better democracy.

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