Barcelona CIVIC TECH HOUSE
Creating a professional environment for civic technology in Barcelona
We are surrounded by people who want to do things well
We want to get them all together in a shared work space
at the heart of the technology community in Barcelona
Opening Autumn 2019
Are you looking for a workspace in Barcelona?
Barcelona Civic Tech House is a reference shared space for professionals belonging to different application fields working on the positive impact that technology has on society. An open space for creating a global community network and an interaction opportunity with the digital transformation’s experts in all sectors.
What is Civic Tech?
Technology that faces social challenges and promotes social participation and civil self-organizations. Its main aim is to work for the common good and social cohesion.
Civic Tech is characterized for its commitment to improve society through the ethical use of technology and data. We rely on particpation and transparency as actions to balance power relationships and reduce social inequalities
Civic Tech or no Tech
Current definitions of civic tech focus primarily on the ability of information and communications technologies to improve public-private governance or e-government by facilitating more horizontal, egalitarian participation in public affairs.
Digital technologies can also provide mechanisms of transparency by making government actions, expenses or relations with private companies easily accessible to the public online. We support this understanding of civic tech and believe it has contributed to creating alternative narratives and practices. However, we also believe that the challenges we are currently facing demand that all tech adheres to civic principles. Civic values must be integrated into a broad range of aspects, from the design and implementation of new technologies to their public uses and applications. With this manifesto, we outline a holistic vision for orienting the digital field around sustainable social and democratic processes
The development of new technologies and technological processes must be oriented by collective interests. Our privacy, security, rights and freedoms must be its top priorities
Why a Civic Tech Manifesto?
From city services to critical infrastructures, professional interactions to our most intimate social relations, our lives have become digitalised. Keeping up with the news feels like reading science fiction. At times, our cybernetic scenario even seems to outpace the dystopias we see on shows like Westworld or Black Mirror. As a result, new questions regarding the impact of algorithms, digital platforms, artificial intelligence, surveillance and security have taken center stage in both our public debates and our private concerns.
This has led to an increased demand for transparency and accountability in data processes, and an awareness of the need for alternatives. In Europe and around the world, citizens, civil society organisations and even corporations are pressuring institutions to subject data-intensive technologies to democratic accountability and building more responsible ways of doing tech. The most ambitious of these policies so far is the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which goes into force today. By restricting data sharing and emphasising ethical principles of data minimisation, purpose limitation, privacy by design and informed consent, GDPR constitutes a major step forward in prioritising digital rights, the interests of citizens and moving towards better accountability and better technology.
From Barcelona and Europe, we want to build on the momentum created by GDPR and increased public awareness of privacy, digital rights and technological bias to put forward a new way of doing tech that is based on the principles of accountability, trust, transparency, privacy and social cohesion.
A shared vision
Principles and mechanisms shaping alternative and sustainable models of technology-based society need to be explored and defined. We want to promote this process and contribute to setting new standards that lead to increased trust between those defining, developing and implementing technology and those using them.
We believe that by providing a visible platform and promoting a civic tech ecosystem for all those committed to building better technologies, for those helping us understand how technology and data processes are impacting on our societies, and for those who strive to open the black-box society, we can give shape to a new approach to technology, innovation and data. By collectively establishing a clear set of principles and values to be embedded in technological processes and adopted by technology actors, we can begin to provide clear references to address the crucial question: what does it mean to do it well?
Much more than a shared space
A PROJECT TO CHANGE THE WAY TECHNOLOGY IS DONE: CIVIC TECH OR NO TECH!
A great historical space at the heart of technology community in Barcelona, just footsteps from the sea. Old building, recently refurbished, large, excellent and central location. Rooftop to relax and enjoy city views Multifuntional building 10 minutes from the sea and the city center
Join Civic Tech House
BE PART OF CIVIC TECH HOUSE
A space to work side by side with like-minded individuals and projects who, like you, promote research and action on the interaction between data and society.
By seeing other projects work and grow, you will have a chance to make the most of your daily interactions.
The Civic Tech House patrons will have access to resident initiatives and suggest real-world challenges to be solved. Participants will have a chance to work with real life clients and show how they can tackle the problems of the future in an ethical and responsible way.
The Civic Tech House will host an ecosystem of actors working on responsible, ethical and civic technologies. This includes researchers and think-tanks contributing to a better understanding of how data impacts society.
Residents will be able to share services including legal and administrative support, meeting spaces and get together to address any need they have.
EXHIBITION AND EVENT SPACE
An open space for all citizens to showcase their products and initiatives and share their ides with the world.
An education and training space open to everyone willing to organize knowledge transfer sessions and to promote gender inclusion and diversity in the tech sector.