Decentralised Citizens ENgagement Technologies
= EU funded research project
"D-CENT will provide civil society with immediately useable digital tools for direct democracy and economic empowerment. It will also grow longer-term alternatives to today’s highly centralised platforms and power structures. D-CENT will create an open, federated, and decentralised social networking platform based on integrating already successful open-source codebases, with tens of thousands of users in three pilots. The modular platform enable 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 judgement, informed by feedback.
D-CENT partnership will design a platform, with testing in 2 integrated pilot themes in Spain, Iceland and Finland:
• Direct Democracy/Political Empowerment – enabling more direct engagement in democratic decision making. D-CENT builds on Europe's largest experiments in direct democracy – the Open Ministry crowdsource legislation linked into parliament in Finland, the wiki-constitution in Iceland, and one of Europe’s most dynamic social movements in Spain – showing how millions of citizens can become engaged in deliberation, and decision-making.
• Sharing economy/Economic Empowerment – enabling communities to manage common goods, and exchange using alternative digital social currencies. The second cluster of experiments will connect these new approaches to empowerment to economic platforms, to extend, scale and link up community currencies, and creating the building blocks for an economy that links exchange to trust, deliberation and collective awareness.
These pilots will involve real-use communities of citizens in Spain, Iceland, and Finland, with the aim to grow a much larger user-base in other European countries, eventually reaching millions via help in outreach by the petition platform Avaaz.
D-CENT brings together world-class technological designers and academics with communities through a world-class multi-disciplinary partnership to deliver the project, including some of the world’s most successful technologists (W3C Tim Berners’ Lee is the inventor of the Web, Neo’s CTO Evan
Henshaw-Plath is one of the lead engineers of Twitter), some of the world’s most renowned social scientists (including Manuel Castells, and Geoff Mulgan) and Europe’s leading Research Centres and
innovation agencies, such as Nesta in the UK, the Economic Department of the Sorbonne, the IN3 Internet interdisciplinary Institute in Barcelona, the W3C Internet Standard Body, and Forum Virium Helsinki. D-CENT will also involve some of the largest citizens movement in Europe through the M15 in Spain, the IMMI in Iceland and Open Ministry in Finland. In addition, the project will be driven by successful lean start-ups and open source developers such as Neo and Dyne.org that will engage the open knowledge and open data communities through the Open Knowledge Foundation.
D-CENT aims at building a grassroots civic innovation ecosystem that can scale across Europe: D-CENT code-base will be described by open specifications and released under an open source licence, so that future developers will be easily able to write API-based apps on top of the codebase, and new modules can easily be added. Thus, the platform can also evolve after the lifetime of the project to keep in touch with needs of citizen groups." (https://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/sites/digital-agenda/files/D-CENT%20factsheet.pdf)