2016 Collective Intelligence for Democracy Workshop (Medialab-Prado's ParticipaLAB, Madrid)

2016 Collective Intelligence for Democracy Workshop (Medialab-Prado's ParticipaLAB, Madrid)


Note: a Spanish version of this case entry is available at: https://participedia.net/en/cases/medialab-prado-inteligencia-colectiva-...


Brief Description

MediaLab-Prado's Collective Intelligence for Democracy Workshop is an annual event that invites multidisciplinary teams to create digital prototypes for the facilitation of collective intelligence, participatory democracy, and civic engagement. The 2016 workshop, hosted, as ever, in Madrid's MediaLab-Prado - a social innovation lab -  saw eight teams work together on projects considering collective intelligence and its relationship to democracy. The projects attempted to address subjects as diverse as collaborative legislation, digital tools, gamification, democratic deliberation, bottom-up processes and distributed democracy. 

Problems and Purpose

How can we activate collective intelligence processes? How can these processes improve the way that democracy functions? Can public policy be constructed using democratic participation tools, platforms and methodologies created by citizens on a collaborative basis?

We need new tools to help us move towards a direct and deliberative democracy using the possibilities offered by the new network technologies. The democratic cities of the future demand new technologies to enable us to undertake distributed forms of political action and collaborative decision-making. To this end the Medialab-Prado Collective Intelligence Laboratory for Democratic Participation is an annual event inviting people from all over the world to Madrid, to think together and develop new digital mechanisms that address challenges relating to democratic participation on the internet: collaborative filtering, deliberation and discussion, decision-making, offline-online flow, joint participation processes and strategies, collaborative drafting of legislation, etc.


MediaLab-Prado and the Collective Intelligence Workshop are both part of a city-wide initiative to increase citizen participation, create government transparency, and improve public-service delivery using information and communications technology. Madrid's committment to the use and expansion of civic tech has been officially supported and implemented since 2013.  

Participant Recruitment and Selection

Eight multidisciplinary teams were select through an open call for project proposals. The workshop was specifically targetted at hackers, activists, politicians, programmers, designers, participation experts and any other person with an interest in direct democracy and digital citizen participation. Participedia was selected to take part in the workshop. 

Deliberation, Decisions, and Public Interaction

Through a series of workshops and participant-led meetings, the eight multidisciplinary teams worked collaboratively to create new digital prototypes to facilitate and open new paths to direct democratic participation via the internet. Participants were asked not to "re-invent the wheel" but to prioritise projects that build on or improve existing developments, hacking digital open-source platforms to give them new uses and even designing participation processes using existing tools.

Influence, Outcomes, and Effects

There were several projects developed during the workshop with many still in development: 

Analysis and Lessons Learned

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External Links



Case Data




Start Date: 
Saturday, December 17, 2016
End Date: 
Saturday, December 31, 2016
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