Why are we doing this?
Despite the huge potential of online networks to transform everyday democratic decision making or to enable citizens to shape their own economic destiny, today’s Internet has done little to challenge older power structures. It could be argued that today’s Internet has become highly centralised, creating new global powers.
We think that online networks have huge potential to help people and communities to share data, collaborate and organise their operations in order to address major challenges for example, transforming real world institutions such as political and financial systems.
What are we doing?
Together with citizens and developers, we are creating a decentralised social networking platform for large-scale collaboration and decision making.
The D-CENT (Decentralised Citizens ENgagement Technologies) platform is being built using a methodology based on ongoing iteration and testing with actual user groups. Pilots will run with existing user communities in Finland, Iceland and Spain to gather knowledge and test the platform, but we are open to movements anywhere starting to test and use the software.
The D-CENT team has been carrying out research and collecting use cases, requirements and features from the different potential user groups. The coding starts in the spring of 2014 and the first online tools will be published by August 2014.
D-CENT's code base will be described by open specifications, open standards, and released under an open source licence. It will also integrate successful open source code bases.
Besides the platform, the project explores how communities might manage common goods and facilitate online exchange with Bitcoin-style digital social currencies.
D-CENT has been awarded €1.9m funding from the European Union under the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7), the EU's main instrument for funding research in Europe from 2007 to 2013.
The D-CENT project is being led by Nesta in partnership with:
- Open University of catalunya (UOC)
- Centre National De La Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)
- International Modern Media Institute (IMMI)
- Forum Virium Helsinki
- Open Knowledge Foundation (OKF)
- Neo Innovation
User communities involved with D-CENT:
- Spain: 15M citizen movement, one of Europe’s most dynamic social movements
- Iceland: participation democracy websites Citizens Foundation, Better Reykjavik and Better Iceland
- Finland: Open ministry, a crowdsourcing site linked to parliament