Selected projects. Collective Intelligence for Democracy 2018

Proyectos seleccionados Inteligencia colectiva 2018

Open call for collaborators here->…


Francisco Jurado

The main aim of the project is to make an analysis of the present limits in the Spanish legal system looking for implementing new ways for citizen participation, framing the role of ITCs. This analysis will result in a propositive document to be a base for updating the legal frame of citizen participation.

The legal frame for citizen participation resides on articles 9.2 and 23.1 of the Spanish Constitution. The art 9.2. considers citizen participation as a basis of the legal system, but limits participation in a very low level. The article 23.1 is included in the fundamental rights section and refers to direct citizen participation or through representative ways.

A desirable outcome of this project would be the draft of an organic law for political participation that develops the article 23.1 helping to integrate existing tools (referendums, consultations or popular legislation initiatives -ILP-), updated and improved them as prepare it to add new participation mechanisms. At the same time, this draft could open the competent frame of different territorial administration levels (regional - CC.AA. - and municipalities) and to define the basic needs for pedagogy and methodologies in participation focused on removing the digital gaps that can appear in the implementation and exercise of this mechanisms.

Desirable collaborators profiles

  • Lawyer and jurists related to legal framework of citizen participation and competences of territorial administration levels in Spain (national, regional and municipal)
  • Activists, mediators and facilitators in political participation processes, participatory budgeting, methodologies for assemblies)
  • IT related with digital tools for participation (deliberation, votes, accountability)



David Balkind

Participatory budgeting (PB) is one of the most popular types of participatory democracy practices in the United States. It’s utilized in dozens of cities in the US and hundreds in the English-speaking world. As such, PB can serve as a foothold for participatory democracy in the US that can be expanded to include citizen-driven proposals, legislative review, consensus-building systems, etc.

Consul already has the basics of PB built into it. Our organization (Sarapis) is currently building an open source Ideas “feature” for Consul so it can accommodate Participatory Budgeting Project’s facilitated process. We plan completion of this feature well before November.

In the interest of using Consul to make the production of participatory budgeting programs faster/better/cheaper to deploy, we want to increase the configurability of Consul systems so it can accomodate more types of PB. There are a number of areas of work we can tackle to achieve this goal:

  • Adding more voting styles to Consul’s PB system - such as approval and ranked choice voting. (Ex, see Stanford’s open source Ruby-based   
  • Adding additional groupware functionality to help the public develop more successful proposals (Ex. see proposal building processes)
  • Integrating some map-based public data resources to help people better understand their communities (Ex. see
  • Developing a front-end voter mode (See’s project feature)
  • Printing pretty ballots   
  • PB configuration wizar and...more ideas from the team...

To start the project, I’d frame the general idea: which is that we need to extend PB features as part of a broader strategy to make deeper participatory democracy practices more accessible. From there, we can ask: “how can we made PB into an “industry-standard” PB solution?” From there we can figure out the skills and motivations of the various people on the team, and build out the first phase of a project plan.

Desirable collaborators profiles

  • Ruby on Rails developers, ideally with some familiarity with Consul.
  • UX/IA designers
  • Researchers and analysts with familiarity with participatory democracy and, more specifically, participatory budgeting
  • Facilitators of participatory democracy/budgeting processes
  • Product managers
  • Graphic designers
  • Public assembly facilitators
  • Government tech developers
  • Government tech administrators
  • Writers
  • Artists



María Becedas

From different areas, work is being done to generate indicators to measure the quality of participatory processes. In some cases they tend to be mostly quantitative, especially in digital tools; where data extraction is easier. Now, processes tend more and more to hybridization. Not only because they move in a digital / analogical scope, but because processes are mixed, a  participatory deliberation process can culminate or not, in a subsequent vote, and the results are advisory but also binding. Typologies are multiple and, nowadays, we do not have a joint framework of quality elements for the categorization of processes, and their analysis and subsequent evaluation.

The project aims to generate a democratic quality framework and an approximation to indicators of that quality.

Starting from documentation and work already advanced on criteria of democratic quality in participatory processes, we will define criteria and design an evaluation matrix that has the capacity to accept the aspects considered key. The qualitative aspects of the processes and decision making will be captured through adaptable and flexible methodologies, which must be wide to evaluate all the typologies of current processes with their different tools and methodologies. We will look for strategies for the different levels of evaluative depth (from the general process to the concrete methodologies).

The model will use a matrix to evaluate all so-called participatory processes with the following objectives:

  • The feedback and improvement of the projects or executed actions, based on objective quality criteria.
  • Have diagnoses that allows to use past experiences for planning  future activities (enlightenment). This may allow the consolidation of participatory processes; and also help us to define a line of separation between participatory processes with democratic quality and those that make up a "front" participation. The ultimate goal is to enable the road map towards a greater democratic quality.
  • Accountability to citizens, public opinion and all those involved in social action processes.

Desirable collaborators profiles

  • Sociologists, philosophers, thinkers.
  • Data analysts.
  • Experts in citizen participation.
  • Experts in current digital tools for citizen participation.
  • Experts in evaluation systems, indicators, ISO, etc.
  • Optional: Graphic designer. Ideal: Information designer
  • Optional: Experts in UX



Lisset García - Ciudadano Inteligente

The main aim of the project is to growth in children and adolescents the positive worth  and internalisation of the citizen exercise of participation through experiences of collective deliberation, cooperation and influence.

The specific aims are:

  • Contribute to the discovery and valorization of participation in children and adolescents.
  • Provide tools and spaces that ensure the experimentation of collaboration and deliberation.
  • Promote the development of skills such as critical thinking, dialogue and collaborative work in children and adolescents.
  • Contribute to the appreciation of the participation of children and adolescents in teaching teams, school communities and fathers and mothers.

The project started with a pilot of three months in 2017 in an electoral context in Chile. The methodology, moderated by a teacher or a professor, proposed a citizen meeting where children and adolescents dialogue about issues that affect them and propose solutions for these problems. These proposals were uploaded to a web platform, in which they could be made visible by the citizens and by the candidatures. Thus, they obtained support from more than 4500 citizens and the commitment of various candidates to include these proposals in their electoral programs. Once the elections were over, more than 40 meetings were held throughout the country, we obtained more than 200 proposals and 19 elected candidates (including the president-elect) committed to at least one proposal.

We believe that there are currently four needs for citizens that must be met:

  • Safe spaces, daily and accessible for decision making in formative stage.
  • Positive and vindictive experiences of the meaning of politics as a space for change and the common good.
  • That girls and adolescents are attracted to the exercise of citizenship.
  • An education that promotes the common good based on experiences of dialogue, critical thinking and collaborative work.

Their participation in decision making since they are young is essential to a citizenship that helps to strengthen democracy. We want a citizenship with experience, competences, and confidence to get involved in politics and that feels attracted to safe common good through collaboration.

To transform the pilot project into a viable platform it is necessary to invest additional time and enrich its components with experts from different disciplines. Being a platform of collective intelligence aimed to children and adolescents. There are some aspects of their design that need more specialized expertise, so that they can  correspond to the needs and dynamics of the age group to which they are addressed. Until today, in the space of collaboration and civic technology there are no platforms directed and designed for this group. Simply versions of the platforms for adults are created, without considering aspects of usability, privacy, methodologies and dynamics that place the needs of children at the center.

Desirable collaborators profiles:

We look for collaborator with experience in children and adolescent participation. With competences in participatory methodologies, learning and work with this sector of population. People that wants to create new participatory spaces, safe and attractive to NNA. There are specially interesting for the project following profiles:

  • Methodologist expert in child and youth participation.
  • Expert Methodologist in participatory dynamics.
  • Pedagogue expert in learning methodologies and classroom experience.
  • UX and UI expert with experience in interactive platforms attractive to children and young people.
  • Expert in privacy and handling of sensitive personal data.

5.- CITOYEN 2.0.

Malick Lingani - Beog Neere

Citoyen 2.0 is a web platform for citizen participation powered by CONSUL APP, the app behind  DECIDE Madrid. The context of Burkina Faso in West Africa is unique. In fact, Burkina Faso as gone through an insurrection in 2014, followed by a Coup in 2015 all these preceded by 27 years of an authoritarian regime. All these changes toward a new-born democracy were made possible  active youth both off-line and on-line, specially on social media. We aim to canalize their energy so they move from only protestation to concrete proposals for the better. A version always on maturation stage is available on

Hence, this present proposal aims to provide support to:

  1. customize, adapt, refine and launch a fully working version of the platform;
  2. Build a successful implementation plan with government by tapping on the experience of Decide Madrid;
  3. Learning on Madrid Experience and sharing Burkina Faso's context;

This project will be starting point of successful application of civitech to advance democracy in Burkina Faso that we will be proud to share across West-African region.

Desirable collaborators profiles:

The profiles that we require for this project are:

  • Web developers with great experience of ruby on rails and possibly already familiar with the CONSUL APP. These people will work closely to adapte the platform to our context.
  • We will also need experts that can help us with the implementation process.



Shunyang Lin - PDIs Taiwan

Taiwan has been experimenting with bringing citizens and government together in a civic deliberation process for crafting digital legislation. Our process, vTaiwan, brings people directly into governance and helps lawmakers implement decisions with a greater degree of legitimacy. We see our project as an adaptable and reproducible prototype for future democracy.

It is our priority to support all people in participating fully and freely. We have utilized the power of web and AI to provide full remote participation for large groups of participants, and we are now taking the platform to the next level by bringing participants into a shared reality environment. This virtual environment will welcome people with different learning inclinations to participate and contribute freely in the ways they are most comfortable. We believe that by using technology creatively humanity can facilitate deep and fair conversations, form collective consensus, and deliver solution we can all live with.

Desirable collaborators profiles:

  • VR developers,
  • interaction designer,
  • game designer,
  • content writers



Paola Ricaurte

The minga is an Andean community practice of action for the common good, similar to the tekio in Mexico or the mutirão in Brazil, which involves the solidarity and commitment of everyone. With a minga, it is possible to solve what is needed among all. That is why we propose Minga_Lab, as a meta-platform for participation in public affairs, to enable and enhance the participation capacities of communities at different levels.

A platform as a toolbox, which takes up the experiences developed by the new spaces for citizen participation that cities have today, but also the rural contexts that are invisible and excluded from participation, which can be enriched by a global vision of what happens there.

MINGA_LAB seeks to enable the possibilities of reflection, experimentation and design of participation processes with communities, organizations and institutions. It is a proposal that promotes initiatives oriented to the development of actions in the field of political and social tasks for democracy. It is a meta-platform of community participation, a shared habitat for political action that integrates various functions:

  • Streamline the social participation of people, groups and organizations from different territories through collaboration with other experiences that are developed in the same field of action.
  • Complement links with similar proposals to disseminate, document and support initiatives and processes of political participation in the region.
  • Reinforce the sense of belonging and incidence of the communities in relation to the policies that are developed in their territories.
  • Integrate and build collective intelligence that puts at the disposal of political action the knowledge, experiences and tools coming from academia, technology, culture, public work, activism and communities in the territory.
  • Weave the different layers of participation through a graphic ecosystem of communities, social organizations and institutions.
  • Promote multilayered political participation: deliberation, decision making, policy design, network building and organization, content production.

Participatory principles where we start are:

  • Political participation must occur as a scenario that implies probabilities of diverse nature and complexity and that must start from the reality of people in their own contexts of life, personal, geographic, cultural, etc.
  • It is necessary to talk about forms of participation of people in conditions of marginalization, precariousness and social and gender exclusion, therefore, any platform should only be a vehicle for the empowerment and facilitation of processes located in different territories.
  • We start from the need to design participatory processes that do not reproduce patriarchy or colonization through their narratives, practices, methodologies or tools.

The phases to be developed during the ICD workshop are:

  • Phase 4: Design of matrix of meta-platform functionalities (during the ICD laboratory)
  • Phase 5: Development of the crowdsourcing platform for the design of public policies (during the ICD laboratory)
  • Phase 6: Development of the articulation of the network of initiatives, map and co-laboratory: synergy and exchange processes, forum, bridge space between needs and capacities (during the ICD laboratory)

Desirable collaborators profiles:


  • People involved in communities, collectives, movements, etc.
  • Front-end developer
  • Back-end developer
  • Content producer
  • Artists
  • Activists and tdefenders of the territory
  • Mediators with experience in citizen innovation projects.


Gunnar Grímsson - Iceland

Better news is a software platform for crowd-sourcing our news in a new and revolutionary way. The mission is to create a platform where we, the people, can document what is happening around us. And while doing it, have fun and do something to improve our world by improving the quality and reliability of news. A graphical explanation of how it will work is recommended for a better understanding of the project.

And how is this connected to democracy? Democracy is a collective method that we use to make decisions, preferably with strong representation. It’s not designed as a way to reach the best decisions but as a way to govern ourselves. When done well the wisdom of the crowds is a very good method to make decisions. And how do we make good decisions?

Good decisions in democracy need good information, a healthy debate and fair processes. We are and have been creating new ways to improve our democracy but without good information it will not do much good and possibly bad. Without good data collective intelligence easily becomes collective stupidity. Brexit and Trump are only two recent results of democracy being manipulated by bad information but there are many more, Hungary and Poland fx. We have seen that our society and our democracy are very vulnerable to misleading information, we must fix this if we are to even maintain our current level of democracy.

Our news are broken. Fake news, manipulation, fear tactics, censoring, filter bubbles etc. obscure the truth, our media is biased and our news are skewed. We need news we can trust, our news. We need Better News. It will be a news community based on trust with strong social and financial rewards, a positively addictive crowd-sourced news game.

Better News will be our social news center where the community adds, rates and fact-checks items to improve our news in a live collaboration. Our algorithms, peer ratings and gaming elements will prompt us towards honesty and quality work. We will be reporting on what we care about, local to world, almost all news are local to somewhere and almost if not always connected to people.

It is very clear that current media is in no way capable of dealing with its shortcomings, it is stuck in many levels of quicksand which it can not escape out of. Of course traditional media will continue to exist and hopefully improve itself but there are no signs that we will be able to trust it to give us true and accurate news, none of the current models can support this.

So, once again, we need to take things into our own hands and create our own Better news.

Technical requirements

Basically a very traditional open source software development setup is needed, nothing fancy or special. There are two possible methods of implementation, the former is probably more realistic within the time frame but that depends a lot on the team of collaborators and their proficiencies.

  1. Use existing software and bootstrap together using APIs and other means. Possibly using Your Priorities (has a majority of needed features) and mix with WordPress with Buddy Press social media plugin.
  2. Program the system properly, again using existing software but as a base to build on.

Both approaches are perfectly feasible and both have pros and cons, as always. The decision on which way to go should be taken by the team, preferably before starting but at the latest on day one of the project period.

Desirable collaborators profiles:

There are many possibilities for useful collaborators profile and the below is, in order of appearance, the most important ones.

  • Flexible programmers (backend and frontend) that are willing to work in a true open source mode, using and mixing software created by others without prejudice.
  • Graphics/Interface designer that is quick and responsive to changes and used to working with online interfaces.
  • Gamification designer that understands how social media works and how it does not work. Preferably with a background in sociology, psychology, anthropology or similar.
  • Other expertise that would be useful: Online marketing and branding, simple system administration.



Javier Arteaga - Gana Nariño

Nariño in the South of Colombia is one of the regions with more diversity in the world. Nevertheless its human richness, geographical or cultural has been victim of the war in Colombia. One of the wealthiness of the Department in Nariño is its population diversity: farmers, indigenous people, afro are the majority in this region.

Nariño’s Open Government is an historical fact, a new system for participatory budget is created looking to get to the citizenship. The main aim of the prototype is to create a kit for participatory budget  regarding to Social technologies and communication strategies to get to marginalized population.

Desirable collaborators profiles:

  • Developers,
  • Graphic or Industrial designers
  • Sociologists, politologists or communicators.



Antoine Vergne - Missions Publiques

The Global Citizens’ Debate (GCD) is both a metalevel process (development of a new governance framework) and a demonstration (test and improvement of the framework). The topic chosen for the demonstrator in 2018-2020 is the future of Internet. The GCD is a 4 pillars process of:

  1. Coalition building, meaning that the debate is launched, co-designed and supported by a group of key stakeholders at global level which are supported by a network of associated partners implementing the debate in participating countries.
  2. Citizen participation meaning that thousands of ordinary citizens, representative of the diversity of their country take part in massive f2f deliberative events: They get informed, discuss, are confronted with competing arguments and build an informed opinion through a process of collective intelligence. This kind of debate allows considering the views, thoughts, fears, desires and expertise of ordinary people which otherwise are absent from global policy decisions.
  3. Impact meaning that the results are used to fuel and inform the decision-making process and discussion of stakeholders worldwide and at all levels, creating an ecosystem of impact.
  4. Massive capacity building, as the 200+ organizers worldwide gets trained both in the method and topics at stake.

Being at the collective intelligence for democracy workshop would be pivotal in bringing the concept to maturity in terms of design, platform and user experience for all involved stakeholders. With the help of the team we would be able to bring this to the next step in terms of access for citizens and potential impact (having clear design, a complete end-to-end user experience for members of the coalition, participants, and the general public).

Putting “ordinary citizens” in a position of co-decision maker, co-designer for the future services, technology and innovation may be considered as an odd idea: How can people living in remote areas of the planet – part of them not even connected - have a relevant contribution on the future of the Internet?

The idea has been gaining traction inside the multistakeholder dialogue since 2017 and more and more actors are convinced that shaping the internet of the future now requires to embed not only the users but the citizens as co-decision maker, co-designer and ideas challenger in order to shape the future of Internet.

In 2018 we aim at piloting the project in 12 countries, on six continents. Groups of 30 randomly selected participants will gather face-to-face to test the protocol ant the topics gathered during 2017 in collaboration with the community (closed framing pilots) and to gather topics of interest for the debate coming directly from them (open framing pilots).

In 2019 we will deploy the debate in 100+ countries and implement a global and local impact strategy that will feed the discussion on the future of Internet for and with the citizens.

Technical requirements

The best would be to have the support from UX/UI team to transform the model into a workable "end-user" product and having clear user stories for the different participants to those projects.

It would also be fantastic to have the support in terms of design and infographics: How to present the process, how to present the results of such debates in impactful terms, etc.

Desirable collaborators profiles:

  • User experience expert,
  • Wordpress developer (we want to have the platform of the debates under Wordpress),
  • Data viz expert.
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