A new kind of experiment at the university

A new kind of experiment at the university

With the help of the Decidim platform, 138 students in a Master 2 in political science at theUniversity of Paris Est Créteil have the opportunity to co-construct a gender equality charter in anticipation of the opening of the International School of Political Studies in September 2020.

At the origin of the approach

Students concerned with participation

It was in the context of a course on civic tech that this initiative emerged: to build, by ensuring the participation of as many people as possible, a common regulatory reference framework for gender issues at the university - a decisive and meaningful first step in the construction of this future school. This common work is based on several functionalities made available by the platform which, arranged side by side, favour the emergence of a collective intelligence on the subject of gender equality and the inclusion of all. 

Three participatory tools:

To implement this participatory approach, three tools deployed by the platform were selected: 

  • A survey in the form of two questionnaires;
  • Spaces for debate around proposals put forward by the participants;
  • The participatory text feature for co-writing the charter.

The survey

The survey on gender inequalities in the institution is based on the questionnaire functionality of Decidim. The survey is divided into two separate parts on the following topics:  

  • General perception of gender inequality
  • Facts observed during your higher education studies 

The questions are mostly constructed according to the classic model of multiple choice questionnaires. The approach also allows participants to clarify their thoughts on certain questions that are conducive to a more detailed expression. This tailor-made arrangement makes it possible to frame the survey while leaving room for participants to express themselves freely within it. Only the administrator has the possibility to use the answers to the questionnaire. 

The debates 

The "debate" feature of Decidim allows the organisation of virtual discussion spaces around themes proposed directly by the participants. Each participant can choose to subscribe to the themes he or she wishes to follow, but also to contribute by exchanging comments.

Co-construction of the charter

Decidim's participatory text feature allows all participants to directly follow, support, comment or amend each part of the charter being co-constructed. Thus, the writing of the charter is no longer delegated to specific people. It becomes a collective work on which each participant has, individually, the possibility of bringing his contribution. A history of amendments is accessible for each paragraph in order to guarantee total transparency regarding the evolution of the text.

What contribution can the digital tool make to this process?

We asked Emilie Frenkiel, researcher at LIPHA, lecturer in political science at the University of Paris Est-Créteil and supervisor of the process, what contribution the Decidim platform made to this process:

Involving a hundred students in a collective reflection

» First of all, the tool allowed me to embark on this process. I could never have imagined involving a hundred students in a collective and prolonged reflection on the issues of inequality and sexism at the University without the possibilities offered by the platform. It has helped to redistribute the voice in the classroom, in the sense that it allows students who don't easily speak up in class or who are working or sick and can't attend to express themselves on issues that affect everyone.

Various features that open up the field of possibilities

The platform allows them to register under a pseudonym, which is very important for our subject. On the other hand, confirming the importance of design for the imaginary and concrete forms of the consultations, the different functionalities have opened up the field of possibilities even further, as far as I am concerned. I didn't know how to start the discussion and the platform allowed me to create a long questionnaire, less intended to collect data than to engage students to start or deepen their reflection on gender inequalities at the university, in general and according to their experience as witnesses, victims, participants in a sexist climate. I did not know what to expect from the online debate and did not anticipate so many free, accurate, reflective and relevant debates. 

participatory drafting of an equality charter

We are now engaged in the final stage of the consultation: the participatory drafting of a charter for equality that will be implemented in the International School of Political Studies that will open in the autumn. Without the platform, which allows us to modify and comment on the charter step by step and at different paces within a few weeks, this level of reflection, collaboration and deliberation would not have been possible. »

Towards a French-style municipalism?

Towards a French-style municipalism?

In the context of the March 2020 municipal elections, Open Source Politics is supporting three citizen collectives in the deployment of their participatory platform. A look at a political movement closely linked to the history of Decidim: municipalism.

A movement "of the citizens, by the citizens, for the citizens

Establishing participatory and inclusive governance

Municipalism is a political project that places citizens at the centre of public decision-making. Both urban and rural, it seeks to reintroduce people into the political space and advocates participatory, transparent and effective governance. Through the establishment of popular assemblies and the acceptance of conflict, municipalism re-establishes a form of horizontality in decision-making.

Making political space a place for citizen emancipation

It is about citizens taking ownership of issues that concern them directly: the housing crisis, the failure of public services (electricity, transport, etc.), ecology, discrimination, the reception of refugees and the feminisation of public life. Municipalism sees the city above all as a place to live and a place to help each other. It invites residents to refocus on fundamental values: solidarity, cooperation, social justice, dignity, ethics, etc. 

Municipalism, through its struggles and values, therefore intends to respond to issues located as close as possible to the citizens, thus justifying its action at the local level.

2015 in Spain: the new wave of municipal experiments

In the face of disruption, mobilisation 

The 2008 financial crisis, the climate crisis, the refugee crisis, the political crisis...: municipalism emerged from a convergence of crises and struggles (the Indignant movement, 2011) which took shape in the Spanish municipal elections of 2015. Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Zaragoza, Cadiz and others were won by citizen collectives. 

Indignant Movement, 2011

What does it say?

Although the record is not perfect (among other things, there is criticism of security policy and the difficulty of governance within an increasingly centralised Spanish state), the municipalities in question have taken up the most pressing issues, such as democratising access to housing or the municipalisation of certain public services (beaches in Cadiz, funeral parlours in Madrid and water in Barcelona). They have also set up participatory democracy systems, both in the city (like the Madrid 'citizens' laboratories') and online. 

The origins of Decidim

In 2015, Madrid City Council created its own free software(Decide Madrid), a collaborative platform from which citizens can submit their proposals to the people of Madrid in a referendum, if they have the online support of at least 1% of the inhabitants. In addition, the city council has set up a voting system and a participatory budget of 30 million euros in 2019. 

The Barcelona City Council has invested more than two million euros in the development of the Decidim platform. A true digital commons, Decidim is consistent with the values of municipalism both in its construction and in the tools it offers: open governance of the software, open source technology and the provision of multiple participatory features. The software, originally designed to establish the Barcelona Municipal Action Plan, covered 33,000 participants, 14,000 proposals of which almost 10,000 were accepted, 5,500 results, 13 debates and almost 200,000 supporters. This was the beginning of a unique experience to which Open Source Politics was linked. 

Decidim Barcelona

2020 municipal elections: municipal collectives supported by Open Source Politics

In France, for the municipal elections of March 2020, there are many municipal lists: our partner Action Commune counts more than 150. Open Source Politics accompanies three of them with Decidim : We are, Let's wake up Annecy and Grenoble en commun

Based on the principles of collective self-management, distribution of power and transparent governance, the Montpellier collective We are allows the co-construction of its programme through its Decidim platform.

The process is much the same for the Citizen's Factory, a platform of Let's wake up AnnecyThe 198 contributions are currently being validated by a citizens' parliament

Finally, the Fabrique, set up for the participatory campaign of Grenoble en communcampaign, has 680 proposals, 244 of which came from physical meetings. Since 2014, Grenoble has been following the municipalist trend by allowing citizens to get involved through a system of voting, questioning, neighbourhood unions and a participatory budget. 

Municipalism, a political movement that aims to change political practices in depth, presents itself as a credible response to current social crises. The use of participatory digital platforms, when backed by local democratic strategies, contributes to these reflections on the transparency of public action and the recognition of citizens' expertise. In this period of municipal elections in France, which sees several collectives co-constructing their programme with the help of a Decidim platform, it would seem that the claims made by municipalism are becoming even more firmly rooted in the debate. With a nod to history: the Decidim digital platform is the fruit of past municipalist experiences, but also the instrument of future municipalist projects.

A look back at Decidim Fest 2019: the annual event of the Decidim community

A look back at Decidim Fest 2019: the annual event of the Decidim community

Article written with the collaboration of Nicholas Saul, PhD student at theSciences Po Paris Law School who also attended the Decidim Fest.

The aim of the DecidimFest is to bring together the different actors (researchers, companies, associations, etc.) of the Decidim community internationally, to present the latest advances of the Decidim project and to get inspired by other communities and free software with similar missions. Every year, theOpen Source Politics (OSP)team is invited to present its use cases and this is an opportunity for us to strengthen our relationships with our Spanish and international partners.

In this article you will find a summary of what was presented during these three days.

Looking to the future: the Roadmap 2023

Before the official start of the Decidim Fest, we had the opportunity to attend the General Assembly of the Decidim Association, to take stock of what had been achieved so far and the roadmap for the coming years.

Keyfacts :
The Decidim association now has legal status and has registered its brand. In addition, an agreement between Localret (the Catalan IT services purchasing office) and the city of Barcelona has been signed to promote the Decidim platform over the next four years. Finally, it is now possible to become a member of the association for an annual fee of 40 euros(click here for more information).

One of the challenges of the next four years is to find different ways of financing to ensure financial stability. The association wishes to increase its staff in order to ensure the maintenance of the core technology, to deepen the documentation (technical, functional, use cases), to disseminate it to as many people as possible and to promote the democratic and ethical guarantees of the project. The general assembly ended with a presentation of the feedback on the Decidim Day organised by OSP on 12 September 2019 with more than 150 participants and 30 speakers with the overall objective of making Decidim known in France and thinking about the future of the digital commons. For more information, see here

Day 1: Building an accessible infrastructure

The day was introduced by the new head of participation of the city of Barcelona (Marc Serra). He announced the implementation of a large-scale participatory budget and a training plan in Decidim for the most digitally illiterate to ensure better inclusion in the technopolitical tools.

Other interventions focused on key issues of digital governance: how to provide a direct response to the impact of the web giants on democracy, how to ensure the democratisation of technology and society, or how to resolve the conflict between the notion of privacy and the contemporary demand for constant connection.

Presentations throughout the day illustrated how the decentralised, free and open source model that respects the personal data and anonymity of participants enables rapid distribution of data and governance in multiple contexts.

Arnau Monterde, Decidim project coordinator for the city of Barcelona, presented the short-term roadmap for the software. Many improvements will be made to the existing system in order to further enhance the quality, robustness and usability of Decidim for users and administrators. In the longer term, the Decidim community will continue to explore the security of votes thanks to the blockchain (note that very solid prototypes have already been produced during the Decode project), the use of ethical artificial intelligence in the service of participatory democracy, the federation of Decidim instances, etc. We also note the intervention of Ben Cerveney, from the Public Code Foundation, whose objective is to accompany public institutions in the production and adoption of digital commons. His presentation highlighted the extent to which the city represents an ideal level for producing "public code". Decidim is an excellent example of this vision as it was initiated by the city of Barcelona and has implemented most of the good practices recommended by the Public Code Foundation, namely

Good practice Public Code FoundationWhat Decidim is doing
Animating a community around the projectThe Decidim Association
The Meta Decidimcommunity
The Decidim Fest, Decidim Day etc.

Have a dedicated product management team
Decidim Product Team
Ensure code quality and standards complianceCoverage of the entire application by unit tests
User support and sharing of best practicesMeta Decidim, French-speaking users' club

Two quotations stand out:

"Software is merging with policy that's why public institutions need technological sovereignty

Decidim Fest 2019, Ben Cerveney Public Code Foundation

"Software is transitioning from technology to infrastructure, cities have a civic responsibility to build public code bases

Decidim Fest 2019, Ben Cerveney Public Code Foundation

The afternoon was marked for OSP by the intervention of Virgile Deville in the panel how to improve participatory budgets and processes in practice? With the example of the first five institutions that renewed the experience for a second edition, Virgile illustrated how OSP implemented technical improvements on the user experience that allowed a significant increase in participation during the project voting phases.

Virgile Deville at Decidim Fest
Virgile Deville at Decidim Fest

We were delighted to see that Paula Forteza came to present different use cases of Decidim in France. She presented the use of Decidim by the Citizen's Climate Convention, but also her site used to collect citizen questions to ask the Government at the National Assembly, and her involvement in the Vivons Paris campaign where Decidim is used to draw citizen candidates for the municipal elections. Its presence as a pioneer in civic tech, open data and government transparency is for us a strong signal that Decidim is now widely identified in France as a reference tool for conducting consultation processes.

Paula Forteza at Decidim Fest
Paula Forteza at Decidim Fest

Day 2: Case studies and research, Decidim results in the field

On the second day, the presentations focused on successful case studies, but also on the presentation of numerous scientific studies on the use of digital tools for governance and participation in public and private bodies.

One of the most striking concrete cases was that of the participatory budget of the city of Helsinki, presented by Katja Henttonen, who has been using Decidim for 2 years. Many initiatives have been taken, including the establishment of a network of local ambassadors and an additional step to collaboratively deepen proposals. TheHelsinki Decidim instance is now the one with the most users in the world (over 70k users).

The City of Helsinki presented the user research work carried out by the city to simplify the user experience as much as possible. Numerous developments were carried out by the City of Helsinki and given back to the community as open source. It was on this occasion thatOSP collaborated on a module simplifying the user experience for the voting phase. The participatory budget has attracted 40,000 new users and now 10% (59,000 users) of the population is registered!

The other highlight of the morning was a round table discussion on the phenomenon of surveillance capitalism and its alternatives with Mara Balestrini, Antonio Calleja and Liliana Arroyo Mollner.

What to remember : 

  • The example of the @decodeproject, which has carried out a pilot using Decidim with a prototype of an electronic signature on the blockchain where the user's data is stored in a digital wallet under his control. It is this type of technology that allows us to envisage identity in a decentralised way that is targeted by the government's decision that we mention in our introduction.
  • The recent study "My data my rules, form data extractivism to digital empowerment" shows that other economic models are possible where data is seen as common, where users control their data.
  • The "Smart Citizen Kit" is a very easy to install #opensource sensor so that any citizen can become a data producer and make their own measurements in order to challenge public authorities or companies.

The second part of the afternoon was punctuated by the presentation of the latest results from different researchers in the Decidim community. Maite Lopez Sanchez from theUniversitat Autonoma de Barcelona, did a remarkable job on how to use artificial intelligence in Decidim participatory processes. Using optimisation algorithms, she and her team have shown that we can significantly improve the way we choose the winning projects in a participatory budget. Instead of simply choosing the winning projects in descending order of votes, this research team used an algorithm that selects projects according to two variables: maximising the use of the budget and the number of supporters represented by the selection. The results are impressive: +30% of budget used, +70% of supporters represented. Well aware of the mistrust that citizens may have towards algorithms, Maite insisted on the importance of using open source algorithms and of developing educational material explaining how these algorithms work.

Pablo Aragon presented a comparative study of the Madrid and Barcelona petition platforms. He demonstrated how trivial technical choices have important political consequences. The case study presented explained how putting the most recent petitions before the others on Decide Madrid biased their capacity to gather enough support, which is why on Decidim the lists of proposals and initiatives are displayed randomly.

Xabier Barrandarian concluded this edition of the Decidim Fest with a presentation of the Decidim White Paper, which is intended to be collaborative and whose purpose is to give a context to this technopolitical project, to explain the choices of technical and functional architecture and to envisage how the advent of the decentralised technopolitical network democratises society.

A final word

Once again, Decidim Fest was able to bring together a diversity of actors (social, economic, scientific and political), which is essential for any project dealing with democracy. We take as a sign of maturity the presence of many international actors: the Mozilla Foundation, Public Code Foundation, Better NYC, the MP Paula Forteza, the cities of Mexico and Helsinki. We are pleased to see that the Catalan institutions (the city of Barcelona, Localret, the Generalitat de Catalunya) that initiated and spearheaded the project plan to continue investing heavily in Decidim. Finally, the first results of the different research projects have been promising and it is an incomparable asset to have a scientific community that stands back from the impact of Decidim on society.

We cannot help but conclude by mentioning the Spanish government's decision to ban decentralised identity technologies such as Decode Project, which gives users total control over their data, and the Catalan court's decision to declare the legal framework for citizen participation, one of the most advanced in the world, null and void.

Link to Pablo Aragon's tweet

Why and how do we choose to build an economic model based on digital commons?

Why and how do we choose to build an economic model based on digital commons?

When we created Open Source Politics, in the heart of the democratic ferment of spring 2016, we used to conclude our presentations by noting that civic-tech had not yet proven anything and that the first challenge to ensure its progress would be to find a sustainable economic model.

Two years later, a first selection naturally took place. On the one hand, the citizens' initiatives that had an electoral horizon were at the end of their experiments; they will form the basis for sedimentation in the next iterations, with a crucial need for access to new funding. On the other hand, several companies have begun their growth phase by successfully marketing platforms and applications to public institutions and private players.

Since we are often asked about the OSP model, we have taken the time over the last few months to analyse the different approaches to our market being structured. An opportunity to reflect on our own specificities and to anticipate the long-term consequences of the political and economic choices currently being made.

Let us first point out that the search for a cost-effective model is not mandatory: for projects of an associative nature, relying essentially on voluntary and militant contributions, the call for philanthropic donations and/or public subsidies may suffice. One example is the association Regards citoyens, which regularly warns of potential abuses of civic-business.

On the other hand, for official approaches to participatory democracy to benefit from the potential of civic-tech, it is necessary to invest in the development of ever more effective tools and in professional methodological support. This is the path we have embarked on with OSP - without abandoning our associative actions for all that.

In the United States, the Knight Foundation lists eight variants but, for our part, we identify at this stage 4 major funding models for our industry: raising funds, selling data, selling licenses, selling skills. While they may all prove to be viable and lucrative in the short and medium term, these models will certainly not have the same democratic consequences in the long term.

Raising funds

This is the classic financing model for a start-up to accelerate its growth. By projecting himself on the future economic success of a company, a venture capitalist (also called venture capitalist or business angel ) will inject a lot of money in exchange for shares in a company. This cash injection allows the company to recruit new employees, invest in research and development, implement a more ambitious communication plan and stifle competition in the logic of being the dominant player in the market to eventually pocket a stake almostmonopolistique - the winner takes all.

At the end of 2016, at the world summit of the Partnership for Open Government held in Paris, we expressed our fear that French civic-tech, in a reversal of international trends, would turn away from the creation of digital commons and move almost exclusively towards the financing of proprietary software.

Our diagnosis is in the process of being carried out since some of the most visible French "civic-tech companies" have raised several million euros over the last six months. They have thus been able to double their workforce in a few months and intensify their communication, sometimes jointly, to institutions and the general public.

Raising funds is not a problem in itself, quite the contrary, but it is actually only temporary funding to accelerate the implementation of a company's real business model. Therefore, the key question is: what is the business model that has convinced public and private investors to engage with these civic-tech players?

Sell data

As early as June 2015, on the occasion of a test of the American application Brigade, which was presented as the "Tinder of Democracy", the economic potential of the political big data was perceptible. The platforms that collect our opinions in their databases in the form of responses to micro-surveys or signatures on petitions are veritable gold mines behind our backs.

Even if they would not do so today, what guarantees do these companies give us that they will not exploit this data for commercial purposes tomorrow, when the level of supply and the need for cash are too irresistible? Political decision-makers, journalists and major economic players, who are already investing fortunes in the opinion measurements carried out by polling institutes, are only waiting for this: tools that make it possible to precisely target a segment of the population in order to address them with the content they will like in terms of their political background and thus ensure the success of an election or lobbying firm.

Two concrete experiences with the discretionary power of these platforms have lifted our last suspicions.

During the recent "Digital Democracy" consultation, which we moderated and summarized for the National Assembly, a third of the overall traffic recorded on the platform came from a direct link to its own proposal that Change.org shared with 1.5 million fans on Facebook and emailed to its 500,000 users most interested in institutional issues. Logically, this proposal was by far the most popular (almost 20% of all votes cast out of a total of 1700 contributions). In a single targeted message, Change.org had more impact than a month's worth of daily communication by the National Assembly on its social networks and a dozen interviews with the President of the institution and several MPs, which were nevertheless relayed by our largest print, radio and television media! It's great for many causes that a platform like Change.org has reached such a critical mass, but such great power imposes great responsibilities.

In the context of missions to accompany local public consultations, we have also had the opportunity to broadcast "Facebook Ads". These are sponsored publications for which we were able to calibrate the audience with great precision: in exchange for a few dozen euros, we could place the invitation to a public meeting or the link to a questionnaire in front of the eyes of several thousand Facebook users living in this or that neighborhood, corresponding to this or that age group and having shown an interest in this or that subject through their likes.

If the sample is large enough, the investment is considerably more efficace - notamment with young people citoyens - que than distributing leaflets on the market or sending mail to mailboxes. The problem is that Facebook deliberately limits the scope of the messages to encourage us to add a few euros in exchange for a larger display. Petition platforms work the same way: pay 10 euros to have your petition sent directly to 1000 additional potential signatories. And so on and so forth.

The adage is now famous: "On the Internet, when it's free, we're the product."

In an "attention economy" where it is increasingly difficult to get a civic message out of the bubbles of already convinced and involved insiders, can the definition of the democratic agenda now only depend on paid filters imposed without transparency or counter-power by private platforms?

Sell licenses

A mistranslation of "free software" misleads many people who solicit us: it is not because software is free that it is free.

Without even mentioning the development of the software, using it has costs for deployment, configuration, hosting and maintenance. Conversely, once it is developed and outside of the above-mentioned costs, duplicating software has a zero marginal cost. Since the development has already been financed and carried out, anyone can benefit from it. In exchange, it is necessary to invest in the next developments, which will benefit everyone in return. Conversely, in the case of proprietary software, it is necessary to pay a license fee for a software that already exists, in order to make the initial investment profitable as in the case of a manufactured product. By the way, in the case of a dominant position tending towards monopoly, chances are that you will pay more and more since you have no alternative.

Thus the French State has paid more and more to use the same proprietary platform. Instead of increasing the skills of public administrations in the management of a basic solution and investing in its amélioration - quitte to entrust the latter to development companies privées - la public authorities agree to pay, licence after licence, for a platform of which they have no control over the source code or the evolution strategy. In a funny way, it is already a public investment, via a participation of the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations, which partly finances the development of this solution that deprives the State of its sovereignty in terms of online participatory democracy!

Using the Software as a Service (SaaS) offer from a proven company is a comfortable choice that takes the responsibility off the decision-makers and technical teams of ministries and local authorities. According to nous - et we say it as citizens beyond the competing interests of our entreprise - un major risk of privatization of tools and skills that must instead be shared with the greatest number.

Should the State instead create its own platform or buy the rights of its preferred provider? This would be potentially just as serious, in the unforeseeable event that a government with liberticidal practices used such platforms to record the opinions of participants or to modify their contributions a posteriori. This is notably the position of our Barcelona inspirators who designed the Decidim platform of which we are partners. Virgile Deville developed this argument at the beginning of December 2017 duringa conference of the think tank Decide Together around the relationship of institutionalization or independence between civic-tech and representative democracy.

Every design and integration choice made by a technical team on a platform has, even unconsciously, an impact on users. Let's take an example: knowing the result of a vote before participating changes our behaviour. With free software, we can have a debate on whether or not to give access to this information to participants - quitte possibly to develop both options. In the case of proprietary software, a module for displaying positive, neutral or negative opinions is part of a global offer to take or leave because these decisive choices have already been arbitrated by the developers who, in the end, control the meaning of your participatory process. Code is Law.

Selling skills

What to do then? How to finance truly democratic digital tools? The process of creating a viable common good is certainly slower, but in the long run it is considerably more virtuous and resilient.

The National Assembly has just set an example: in the fall of 2017, it called upon Open Source Politics to advise it on the configuration and use of a DemocracyOS instance that its technical team learned to use and deploy on its own secure servers. She is now free to consult on DemocracyOS as much as she wants with her own resources. Another advantage is that the National Assembly has been able to use Open Source Politics to analyze contributions without us having access to the database being consulted, and therefore without us having any means of altering citizens' contributions. The National Assembly drew conclusions from its use and issued specifications for desirable functional evolutions with a horizon of several months. A body démocratique - le Bureau de l'Assemblée Nationale - a validated some of these developments and ordered their implementation. The National Assembly's investment will benefit any institution and any citizen group that wants to use it, anywhere in the world.

This is what a digital commons is. This is what a public investment in a public code should be.

What is the point of Open Source Politics if our customers can do without us as soon as the transfer of skills has taken place? In reality, this model is totally consistent with the model of selling multiple services: hosting and maintaining a tool for customers who do not have sufficient internal resources, developing new functionalities when our customers finance these improvements which will be mutualized, and finally supporting the use of these technologies through training, communication support, strategic consulting, moderation and analysis ...

Since the spring of 2016, we have broadened our scope of expertise to include the facilitation of collective intelligence workshops and automatic language processing, in order to understand all the steps of an open and modern democratic process, both online and offline. We are not selling a captive asset; we are sharing know-how. The participation platform is only a tool, part of a process that still faces sociological and cognitive barriers that exclude a large part of the population from participation. Just as platforms do not evolve in a snap of the fingers, citizen participation is not something that can be decreed overnight.

We must, to use a formula resulting from a working meeting with Nancy's town hall, give citizens power, meaning and time. Power, so that they can really decide: 2,300 Nancy parents and teachers took part in the first online vote on the evolution of school rhythms; the mayor followed their decision. Meaningful, so that they understand the processes they are taking part in: thanks to intense fieldwork, 14% of tenants voted in the first participatory budget of the RIVP - unrecord. Time, so that habit is created and trust is gained: for the past two years, Nanterre City Council has been able to conduct more than ten successive consultation campaigns to gradually broaden the profile of the citizens involved.

Our common code

We approach the challenges before us with great humility. Civic-tech platforms are still largely perfectible, and democratic practices need to be fundamentally rethought. Since day one, we have wanted to build a company that is like us and aligned with our values. We still have so much to do, but we are not alone and we know what the collective makes us capable of.

Around us, great partners are committed to ensure that the model of a truly open democracy exists and we thank them for their soutien - citons for example Entr'ouvert and its user relationship management solution Publik that we want to make interoperable with our platforms, La MedNum which supports new models for the development of innovation in partnership with the territories or Medias-Cité which carries the creation of APTIC vouchers to disseminate the skills of digital mediation actors to all those who need them.

Around us, about twenty French-speaking institutions are getting ready to join a community of users who are thinking and investing together in the future of our tools... sharing with the town halls of Barcelona, Helsinki and Turin, with the governments of Argentina or Belgium.

Around us, and we have already introduced you to some of them, researchers and activists from all over the world are mobilizing, not to build new economic rents, but to make 21st century democracy our common good.

Open Source Politics is a company that develops participative democracy for public, private and associative actors. Contact us if you wish to engage in a consultation mechanism or a participatory budget using civic-tech tools!



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