Collective intelligence and digital participatory platforms
Decidim (“We decide” in Catalan) is a free/open-source software for citizen participation and a democratic innovation ecosystem first promoted by the townhall of Barcelona in 2016, which has rapidly expanded to hundreds of municipalities, regions, states, and organizations around the world. Decidim helps organizations – such as public institutions, civil society groups, or cooperatives – in co-producing more effective and innovative policies through open processes of participation and deliberation (from problem diagnosis and ideation to policy implementation and accountability). This chapter captures some key learnings on the connection between collective intelligence, public innovation, and digital technologies, drawn from the experiencies with Decidim, with a special focus in the cases of Decidim.barcelona and the Conference on the future of Europe, which illustrate how socioinformational technologies can be designed and used to unleash collective intelligence. Some examples are Decidim’s modular platform design; its Social Contract – which explicitly prescribes a democratic values-based vision of CI – and its internal participatory governance built around the MetaDecidim community. Collective intelligence is thus not only a by-product but also the modus operandi and core principle of design. In this sense, Decidim takes part in the global conversation to rethink and reinvent what democracy and technology – and the connection between the two – may look like in the 21st century.
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