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Author: Diem25 Berlin (page 1 of 7)

Corner Späti Podcast feat. Cearbhall and David (DSC Berlin)

Two members (@SubKid and @cgm-maguire) of the DiEM25 DSC Berlin talked to the american/german/irish berlin-based hipster politics podcast “Corner Späti” on July 19th. We discussed DiEM25 in general, the GNDforEurope, European Spring, Strategies and Technological Sovereignty.

“Meanwhile the progressive left DiEM25 political movement has recently released a policy doc advocating for European tech sovereignty that seems to share many of our ideals (…)”
Democratic Socialists of America

Download the green paper here.

DiEM25 presents its Green Paper on Technological Sovereignty in a cozy barcamp atmosphere

The location for the event {Technological Sovereignty} – Doing Tech the democratic way couldn’t have been more appropriate. Located in Berlin-Mitte, the renowned hackerspace c-Base was the perfect scenery for the presentation of DiEM25s Green Paper. Around 70 people joined the 8 hour event in which lightning talks, panels and fishbowl discussions shed light on the different topics of Technological Sovereignty.

From Platform Monopolies to a Digital Commonwealth

Surrounded by modular synthesizers, 8bit-arcade-consoles and spaceship-chunks, the paper coordinators gave a brief overview of the making-of and the contents of the paper, followed by an in-depth discussion of the second chapter: “A Digital Commonwealth for the 21st Century” by Kate McCurdy and David Schwertgen.
This chapter is dedicated to the first steps DiEM25s tech policy identified to democratise the development of digital technology. It addresses the so-called Platform Monopolies, an ecosystem of companies like Alphabet (aka Google), Facebook, Apple and their numerous clones and off shoots, and claims we need to limit their power and re-open the playing field for fair competition, as well as go beyond with a positive vision for the “digital commonwealth,” a democratic alternative to monopolistic control. The paper proposes:

  • stronger and more versatile anti-trust enforcement,
  • stronger ePrivacy Regulation,
  • mandatory platform interoperability, and
  • collective representation of data producers, i.e. data unions;

and to create an infrastructure for a digital commonwealth through

  • de-commodification of data through a public data commons,
  • support of democratic economic structures for data-driven innovation, and
  • creation of a digital rights framework for citizens.

An example for democratic innovative structures are e.g. platform cooperatives, which were covered in depth during the second panel of the event.

The theoretical groundwork of the second chapter was then fleshed out by two lightning talks of dedicated experts: Claudio Agosti from tracking.exposed and Lorenz Matzat from AlgorithmWatch.

Claudio, a software developer, researcher and DiEM25 member, presented his project eu19.tracking.exposed, an attempt to understand the manipulation processes of information inside digital platforms.

Lorenz informed us about the various fields in which his non-profit organisation is doing research. One of these projects, the “Atlas of Automation,” aims to map the state-of-the-art of automated decision-making systems in Germany. As a dystopian non-German example, Lorenz mentioned the job dismissal algorithm of Amazon, which automatically fires workers that don’t meet Amazon’s benchmarks.

Automation of Work and Platform Cooperatives

The second part of the event was dedicated to scrutinizing corporate control of the digitization and automation of work, and exploring a possible antidote: Platform Cooperatives, which refers to cooperative ownership models of digital platforms. Before we dove into this, the paper coordinators Christoph Schneider and Joren de Wachter framed the debate with highlights of the third and fourth chapter of DiEM25s Green Paper.

Joren posed the provocative question: is intellectual property, in fact, property? In his analysis, copyrights don’t help anyone to build upon protected immaterial goods and instead only prevent other people from using them. Given the fact that huge parts of research and innovation are funded by public money, Joren presented an intuitive demand – “Public Money, Public Code”. His takeaway: Innovation that is funded by public money should remain accessible to all, by default under the most permissive license systems.

Christoph Schneider focused on one core proposal: A Participatory Budgeting Platform for Research and Innovation. In a nutshell, this proposed crowd funding system would allow European citizens to allocate public money through voting on the platform. At the same time, this platform would also enable citizens to identify pressing problems to be addressed through research and innovation.

As a reality check of current platform/worker relationships, DEMOKRATIE IN EUROPA candidate and researcher Joanna Bronowicka gave some examples of how workers’ conditions have worsened with the rise of apps like Foodora, Deliveroo and Uber. For her the solution to this problem is twofold: investment in platform cooperatives that push common ownership, and regulation of existing companies and their business models.

To elaborate best practices and identify possible pitfalls, the following panel discussion hosted platform cooperative practitioners like Peter Harris, co-founder of the music streaming platform resonate.is; Ela Kagel, a curator, adviser and consultant for platform co-ops; and Felix Weth, who runs the cooperatively owned online marketplace fairmondo.de. While the daily grind of platform cooperatives is much more complex than a theoretical framework like the DiEM25 policy paper could possibly incorporate, the panelists largely embraced the core ideas that the policy coordinators came up with.

Final Takes: Democracy is the Technology We Need

As a wrap-up, the evening concluded with some big-picture outlooks on why we need not just technical solutions, but inclusive social and political approaches, to the challenges posed by technology. Mathana Stender, a Berlin-based tech ethicist, presented their CIVIL framework for democracy, envisioning how social and political actors can change the balance of power to restore human-centric decision-making in the age of monopolized machines. Bianca Praetorius, Startup-Coach and also a candidate for DEMOKRATIE IN EUROPA, talked about the Universal Citizens Divided that DiEM25 proposes as a means for European citizens to participate in e.g. productivity boosts achieved by automation.

The evening concluded at length with cold beers and the screening of the interactive documentary Codonaut (available online at codonaut.de), that explores risks, prospects and outlooks in the field of artificial intelligence.

The Technological Sovereignty Green Paper coordinators are very grateful to everyone who contributed to the development of the paper and/or participated in the barcamp event – it was a terrific example of democracy in action!

DiEM25s 3rd Green Paper on Technological Sovereignty

[Image: CC BY-SA 2.0 by JérémY]

Standing against discrimination in Europe – DiEM25 Warm-up Demo

19 May, 11am, Oranienplatz

Ours in an unequal Europe. Today, many women, minorities and migrants in Europe face discrimination and violence in their daily lives. Governments and politicians are doing nothing to stop the unequal treatment – and the far right is only encouraging it.

This is why on May 19 we will gather at Oranienplatz to demonstrate that we stand against all forms of discrimination. We will raise or voices against racist violence, harassment and discrimination in all spheres of society.

Your voice matters too! Join us and raise your voice. You will hear speeches from our activists and candidates for European Parliament – Joanna Bronowicka and Jasper Finkeldey. If you want to make a speech – email join@joannabronowicka.eu.

After our warm-up speeches we will walk together to join the big demo of Europa fur Alle which starts at 12.00 at Alexanderplatz.
https://www.facebook.com/events/351289505285365/

Equality is at the very core of our program. We demand concrete actions to fight against racial profiling at all levels of European society. We will force all companies to implement an equal pay standard to correct the gender wage gap. We will call for a convention on reproductive rights to guarantee that every woman has access to free and decent care.

Link to our program:
https://www.program.europeanspring.net/

On May 26, vote for progressive, green and fair Europe – list 25 – Demokratie in Europe – DiEM 25.

DiEM25 Barcamp {Technological Sovereignty} – Doing Tech the Democratic Way

DiEM25 presents its green paper on “Technological Sovereignty : Democratising Technology and Innovation” in Berlin on May 3rd 2019.


[Image: CC BY-SA 2.0 by JérémY]

WTF?
Technology is becoming ever more political. And politics depends ever more on technology.
 
But there is a huge void in political discourse around technology. It is either ignored, or accepted as a technocratic fact. But it is neither.
 
Technology, which technology is developed (and which not), and how it is developed and made available,  is the result of choices. But technology also drives choices, and defines and limits the way politics can be done.
 
Yet, most political movements or parties remain completely silent – their view on technology and its impact on politics and democracy, is mostly empty.
 
The best illustration of this huge void at the heart of our democratic systems was Mark Zuckerberg’s visit to the European Parliament. Pathetically, most of the energy of MEPs went to trying to make a selfie with the benign dictator of our personal data. While, during the actual hearing, the questions they asked showed the profound emptiness of their political ideas around technology.
 
Who is technology for? How should it benefit society best? How should it be regulated? What are the principles of interaction between technology and politics? Who should own and/or control what?

DiEM25 wants to boldly go where no other political movement has gone before: a vision on how technology and politics should interact, and how we can update democracy to prevent emerging technological dictatorships of the 21st century. By democratising technology we can share the benefits of technological progress amongst the many and unleash innovations for the common good.
 
We will present DiEM25’s green paper on “Technological Sovereignty: Democratising Technology and Innovation” as part of DiEM25’s Progressive Agenda for Europe.
 
And we will debate on the principles contained therein, and how they can best be translated into concrete action points and a strategy for progessive politics.
 
Our ultimate goal is to make technology serve the needs of all citizens in a democratic society. Politicians need to be called to account, on how they act, or fail to act, on the power of technology and its impact on our democracy.
 
In a series of interactive panel discussions, thought leaders from both inside and outside of DiEM25 will present and discuss the green paper, and together with the participants, work out how to implement the principles laid out in the policy.
 
Join us on May 3rd 2019 in c-Base, Berlin to start making history: come learn more about our vision for a democratic future for technology, and be ready to share your vision with us.

May the 3rd be with you!

Details:
c-base e.V., Rungestraße 20, 10179 Berlin
3rd May, 1 – 9 pm

Registration
You can also come without registration! fb-Event helps us track the amount, tho.

Program:

  • 13:00 – Technological Sovereignty – DiEM25’s vision for democratising technology and innovation.
    13:45 – Why do we need to democratise algorithms and how do we do it?
    – Lightning talks with thought leaders from both inside and outside of DiEM25
    – Discussion with all participants
  • 15:30 – Coffee break
  • 16:00 – Why do we need to democratise ownership of technology and how do we do it?
    – Lightning talks with Ela Kagel (#platformcoop), Peter Harris (resonate.is), Felix Weth (fairmondo.de) and Joanna Bronowicka (DEMOKRATIE IN EUROPA)
    – Discussion with all participants
  • 18:00 – Final Panel – Why do we need not just technical, but social and political solutions – and how do we make them a reality?
    – Lightning talks with thought leaders from both inside and outside of DiEM25
    – Discussion with all participants
  • 20:00 – Beers and Codonaut Screening
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