From 23-28 May, the IN3 research group Communication Network and Social Change (CNSC),   Ayuntamiento de Madrid,  Medialab Prado and the  Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofíawill be co-organizing in Madrid the conference  Democratic Cities:    Commons Technology and the Right to a Democratic City  . The conference will mark the close of the European project D-CENT, in which various IN3 researchers have been involved:   Javier Toret,  Arnau Monterde and  Antonio Calleja-López (under the guidance of  Prof. Manuel Castells).

D-CENT  (Decentralised Citizen Engagement Technologies) has been working on transforming democracy in a very concrete way: helping movements, cities and political parties to build technologies, methods and tools that bring the democratic system into greater harmony with the collective aspirations of the 21st century.

D-CENT is now considered one of Europe’s most credible projects, capable of modelling the adoption of digital democratic tools and directing new experiments on a worldwide scale.

The results of the project will be presented and celebrated in Madrid from 23-28 May with a program full of activities  that will deal with issues such as citizen participation, collaborative technologies and transparency. There will be talks from over 50 public figures from all over the world, connected to the fields of politics, activism, art, humanities and science, citizen participation being the common denominator. Speakers will include Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks;  the Icelandic politician Birgitta Jónsdóttir, who has a lead over the Pirate Party in the polls about the upcoming elections; the Italian philosopher Franco Berardi; Brazilian architect and town planner Raquel Rolnik; and Simona Levi, founder of XNet. The full list of speakers and the program can be found on the Democratic Cities website.

The conference will consist of a series of presentations, panels and round tables that will cover the following topics:

  • Rethinking democracy and politics in the network society
  • Post-capitalism, digital commons and democratic cities
  • Freedom and technology self-determination in the age of digital surveillance
  • Hacktivism for democracy
  • The future of direct democracy
  • Building a network of cities of change towards a democratic technology policy

The program has two parts: the Democracy Lab and the International Conference. The first part, which will be held from 23-27 May in Medialab Prado, consist of a series of open sessions, workshops, and hackathons to think of, design and develop tools, processes and strategies for democratic participation. The International Conference, which will be opened by the mayor of Madrid, Manuela Carmena, will conclude the week of activities. The conference aims to generate debate about network democracy, new forms of participation and digital commons in cities.

You can follow on  twitter using the hashtag  #DemocraticCities  and stream the event at  http://ciudades-democraticas.cc/.