The DCitizens project has recently organised its kick-off meeting in Lisbon. During three days, the consortium and local partners gathered to establish the work plan for the next three years. During this time, engineers, psychologists and other experts will work closely with local citizens aiming to foster digital civics in Lisbon.
About the project
By inverting the direction of the research flow, the project hopes to shift the research paradigm. Universities and research institutions typically develop products and services independently and later offer them to users. The DCitizens project, on the other hand, seeks to develop a participatory platform where researchers and citizens may encourage a continuous co-creation process. One of the specific goals of the DCitizens project is to enhance the Interactive Technologies Institute research and innovation competence in the field of Digital Civics. Additionally, the consortium wants citizens to be more involved in local decision-making, giving them a say about what is essential in their lives.
The consortium partners
The Interactive Technologies Institute (Portugal) is the coordinating institution of DCitizens. They are a research unit from Instituto Superior Técnico. To fulfil the project’s objectives, the ITI cooperates with a number of consortium organisations. They are Northumbria University (United Kingdom), Universität Siegen (Germany), and Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (Italy). They are anticipated to oversee the DCitizens project for three years, with a November 2025 completion date.
Day 1 – Dcitizens next steps
The core partners discussed the project’s objectives, work packages, responsibilities, and expected outcomes on the first day. This debate proved essential to outline the project’s next steps, ensuring a solid research strategy for the following three years.
Day 2 – Digital Civics collaborations
On the second day, the group finalised the specifics of the civic workshop of the following day. Additionally, several Interactive Technologies Institute researchers presented other research projects that could connect with DCitizens. Nuno Nunes presented the ERA Chair project BIG – Blockchain Technologies and Design Innovation for Social Good. Mariana Pestana and Frederico Duarte introduced the Bauhaus of the Sea Sails, a Portuguese lighthouse project of the New European Bauhaus Initiative. Lastly, Valentina Nisi lifted the veil of the upcoming project Logaculture, starting in April 2023,
Day3 – Digital Civics workshop
The last day was dedicated to the Digital Civics Workshop. We have invited participants from academia, industry, the public and 3rd sector. Partners from the local community guided the conversation regarding the opportunities and necessities to fulfil their vision. A tentative proposal for a 12-month research project resulted from roundtable talks. Inclusionary education, social cohesion, and sustainable living are the three problem areas on which we invited local partners to collaborate. These partners are:
- Bengala Mágica Association
- European Intercultural Club
- Portuguese Association of Neurofibromatosis
- Portuguese Council for Refugees
- Nossa Senhora dos Anjos Rehabilitation Centre
- National Association of Special Education Teachers
- Dr. Gama Pinto, Oftalmology Institute
- NGO Espaço “A Criança”
- NGO ComParte
- Residents Association “Viver Melhor no Beato”
- Aga Khan Foundation
- Beato Town Council
- Municipality of Lisbon
- British Embassy Lisbon