Democracy by Design: Activists, Apps and Activist Apps

22 January 2018, 14:00 - 16:00

S2, Alison Richard Building, Sidgwick Site

Marianne Maeckelbergh, Associate Professor, Institute of Cultural Anthropology, University of Leiden

This workshop explores the question of design through the lens of two connected spaces of political innovation: 1. activist meetings and 2. the development of an “app” for democratic decision-making. I compare the practice of political design across these two spaces by drawing on my ethnographic research of decision-making within transnational social movement networks (from alterglobalization to Occupy) and my participation in the design of an App for democratic assembly and collective action at the University of California, Berkeley. I explore how activists intentionally design horizontal and participatory models of democracy and how these principles/ideas (and others) were translated into the online decision-making platform Appcivist. The talk explores the potentials and limits of the move from social to technological design, the role of the facilitators/designers, and the creation of ‘participants’/‘users’ through the design process.

Read more and book a place online here.