Tech for Good Ten: DCENT Madrid Projects

31st May 2016 Posted by: Sam Firman

Welcome to the Tech For Good Ten, where we share the best 10 links in the Tech For Good world from the past seven days.

We’re aiming to share a wide range of links, meeting the people behind the latest digital innovations, showcasing the greatest tech for good products, looking at the future of social change technology, and exploring the themes and social issues that technology is tackling locally and globally.

Most importantly, we’ll be meeting the people and institutions who are actually using this technology, showing the positive difference it makes in their lives, their communities and the world around them.

This week, we're featuring projects from the recent DCENT conference in Madrid. The conference was the culmination of an EU Commission project exploring the role of technology in achieving greater democracy in Europe and beyond. Next week, we'll publish both a write-up of the event and a post outlining the key challenges beyond the DCENT project.

We’re also encouraging debate around “What exactly is Tech For Good?” Join the debate in the comments below. We’re here to discuss all things Tech For Good. Got a link to share with the Tech For Good Team? Tweet us at  @techfotgoodtv  or leave a comment on our Facebook page.

Tech For Good Ten | 31.05.2016

1//  World Brain: a webmarking tool combatting scientific misinformation

World Brain, founded in Berlin, is a tool hoping to allow people to annotate, organise, share and discuss personal web research and collectively build the foundation for verifying scientific information online.

2//  Baoqu: online decision-making for massive groups

Baoqu, founded in Madrid, is a tool that allows massive groups to deliberate in a horizontal, transparent, inclusive way. Participants are grouped into small 'tables', whilst retaining the ability to view and join debate happening in the wider 'room'.

3// Loomio: online, collaborative decision-making

Similarly, Loomio, founded in New Zealand, is a tool that allows groups to discuss and decide on issues in a collaborative way. The tool is already being used around the world by teams and organisations, including groups campaigning for greater democracy. The Loomio team - structured horizontally, without a CEO at the 'top' - also uses its own tool.

4//  Hackity: an app for crowdsourcing community improvements

Hackity invites citizens to reimagine their neighbourhoods by allowing them to propose, debate and enact direct improvements to their communities.

5//  Open Seneca: a civic-engagement suite

Open Seneca, founded in Barcelona, is an ambitious civic-engagement suite that aims to allow citizens, politicians and other stakeholders to discuss and decide upon important issues. The team envisages the possibility of becoming the social network for civic engagement - an enticing prospect.

6//  Wikipolitica: hacking local elections

Wikipolitica is a team of hackers from Mexico that recently used a variety of data-science techniques to hack a local election. By changing the electoral narrative, providing citizens with information and researching how to canvass, among other things, they successfully elected an independent candidate. Their website is currently under construction, but their remarkable achievement could signal the future of direct democracy. 

7//  Citizens Foundation: an open-source civic-participation platform

Created in Iceland, Citizens Foundation is a civic-participation platform that has engaged hundreds of thousands of people in suggesting, debating and implementing ideas to improve their communities. The platform has won a series of awards, and is a leading light in the e-democracy space in Europe.

8//  Freecoin: transparent, auditable cryptocurrency

Freecoin is a set of tools to let people run reward schemes that are transparent and auditable to other organisations. It is made for participatory and democratic organisations who want to incentivise participation, unlike centralised banking databases. Freecoin aims to leverage the use of social digital currencies in a reliable, simple and resilient way.

9// crowd-sourcing speech content for the world's longest filibuster

Earlier this year, politicians in South Korea opposing surveillance legislation staged the world's longest ever filibuster. As part of their efforts, a project called crowd-sourced speech content to be read directly in parliament. Just as well, given the filibuster featured multiple speeches of over ten hours!

10//  New School: a more collective sharing economy

So-called sharing economy platforms like Airbnb and Uber are widely perceived to be a positive development for consumers. But these platforms remain proprietary, directing profits into narrow private hands. The New School, in New York, is spearheading efforts to create true sharing-economy platforms that provide the same benefits whilst redirecting profits back into communities.


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