JUNE 29TH — JULY 17TH                   

Inertia(noun),
1— a tendency to do nothing or to remain unchanged.

2— (physics) property of matter by which it continues in its existing state of rest or uniform motion in a straight line, unless that state is changed by an external force.


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We live in a complex and conflictive world, and the political, economic and technological systems that have brought us here seem insufficient, if not counterproductive, to guide our societies in desirable directions. Modern representative democracy entered a crisis decades ago. Informational capitalism and statalism (supported by platforms, data, surveillance...) concentrate information, capital and power in the hands of a few corporations and States, whose action is guided by the maximization of profit and power. Against this oligarchic becoming, projects such as Decidim (a public-common project for developing a digital platform for participatory democracy, which we’ve helped to conceive and develop) stress the need to undertake a technological democratization: democratizing technologies (giving people control over tech, data, AI, etc.) and democratizing societyb through such technologies.
        Achieving this requires, among other things, designing spaces where the demos (the people) can meet, reconstruct itself, deliberate and decide on complex and conflicting issues. It implies to go beyond the ancient model of the agora (the assembly square), with its spatio-temporal limitations, and the modern electoral process, with its deliberative limitations and its episodic character. In the 20th century, from the US military to cybersin, a key space for strategic decision-making was the situation room, rooms connected to different information, analysis, and communication systems.

Focus:

Can these spaces be redesigned for citizen decision making, a crossing between the agora and the situation room? Is it possible to build “augmented” deliberation rooms for a better and “augmented” democracy? Could they be useful for a civilizational turn? How may they enhance or limit collective experience, intelligence, will and action? What logics of social inclusion and exclusion do they mitigate, create or recreate? What are their elements and constitutive layers? How should they be designed and governed, and by whom? Could we include non-humans in these dynamics?


In Tecnopolítica we are a network of people and a technopolitical athenaeum, an extitutional research space located between academia, social movements and new democratic institutions. We aspire to be a place of collaboration and exchange of knowledge and practices on technology, politics and society. A laboratory of thought and action.
    Tecnopolítica is a research unit associated to the Communication Networks and Social Change (CNSC) group of the Internet Interdisciplnary Institute (IN3) of the Open University of Catalonia (UOC). At the same time, it operates as a node within a wider network of people, collectives, centres and research laboratories.


This Working Group will be taken care of by:
        Antonio Calleja-López is coordinator of Tecnopolitica at IN3/UOC
        Pablo DeSoto, Visiting Professor at Federal University of Paraíba in
        Brazil. (pablodesoto.org)

















Mark