Meanwhile in Europe…


D-CENT: Decentralised Citizens ENgagement Technologies

D-CENT will create a bottom-up, decentralised, open platform for collective awareness based on integrating already successful open-source codebases. Its first practical experiments will address democratic engagement, building on Europe’s largest experiments in direct democracy – the Open Ministry linked into parliament in Finland, and the involvement of the whole population in shaping a new wiki-constitution in Iceland – as well as one of Europe’s most dynamic social movements, in Spain. These will show how millions of citizens can become engaged in day-to-day deliberation, and decision-making.

Total cost is listed as EUR 2,543,071 over three years.

D-CENT illustration (no title)

Image source: D-CENT fact sheet (PDF)

From the project website:

Decentralised Citizens ENgagement Technologies

D-CENT will provide a decentralised social network for direct democracy and economic empowerment.
The D-CENT platform will be designed with citizens movements, civic innovators and developers.
It will be tested with large scale pilots in Spain, Iceland and Finland.
Aims to enable more direct engagement in democratic decision making and deliberation.
Imagines communities that can manage common goods using asyncronous

[sic!] digital architectures of communication and value exchange. D-CENT will grow longer-term alternatives to today’s highly centralised platforms and power structures.

And this quote is from the project presentation (PDF, page 3):

D-CENT will develop an open, federated and decentralised social networking platform for large scale collaboration based on integrating successful open-source codebases that enable to share in real-time open data, democratic decision making, and digital currency for the social good

That’s quite a mouthful. One has to wonder whether this initiative will join the long list of EU e-participation research projects that have come and gone before and which, for the most part, were not able to gain market traction beyond their funding window.

Hat tip to Robert Richards, who shared this find via Twitter last week.