Category: Event (page 1 of 3)

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]

The citizen take-over of the EU institutions on 26th of May has started

The election campaign of DiEM25’s electoral wing Demokratie in Europa in Germany kicked off with a great weekend in Berlin. Join us for the exciting time ahead, not stopping on the 26th of May. This European election is only a start fighting for the change we desperately need!

First the leading candidates of Demokratie in Europa – DiEM25, Yanis Varoufakis and Daniela Platsch, joined our local candidate Thomas Kellermann in Lichterfelde Süd for a tour around the district.

As a member of the action alliance Lichterfelde Süd, Thomas Kellermann is committed to the construction of socially responsible and sustainable housing. As a physician, he has also dealt with the health consequences and impressively describes the consequences of wrong housing policies. The action alliance demands the building of affordable housing instead of such in the high-price segment. The dream: 1,500 social dwellings in Lichterfelde Süd.

The Groth Group is the owner of the former Parks Range in Lichterfelde Süd and would like to build on 39 hectares there. In recent years, the Groth Group has made donations to the Berlin parties, primarily to the CDU but also to the SPD. The current urban development contract from July 2018 is still not open to the public.

Together Yanis Varoufakis, Daniela Platsch and Thomas Kellermann demand the financing and guarantee of affordable housing for all Europeans in their home countries in the election program of Demokratie in Europa – DiEM25. The social housing model, which has been dismantled across the continent, must be restored. In addition, the Green New Deal only promotes social and sustainable housing.

After signing for the referendum to exapropriate the big housing company “Deutsche Wohnen” the candidates left to the evening of DiEM25 in the district Wedding.

The event did not treat participants as passive listeners. Instead it was about getting into a dialogue. The venue was a room for inclusion, and the event was the same. After a short introduction from the panellists, Joanna Bronwicka, Jasper Finkeldey, Thomas Kellermann, Bianca Praetorius, Daniela Platsch and Yanis Varoufakis, the audience jumped right into the discussion with the candidates in a fishbowl format.

After this exciting start, join us organising a campus tour bringing the #EuropeanSpring to the universities across Germany and help us with the #register2vote campaign ahead of the European Parliament elections.

We are campaigning against austerity politics all across Europe. Let’s make our pledge for a new and people-powered democracy in Europe become reality!

A citizen take-over of the EU institutions

13.04.2019 – 7 pm
TUECHTIG Room for inclusion
Oudenarder Str. 16 (Building D06, floor 1)
13347 Berlin-Wedding

Discuss with Yanis Varoufakis and other DiEM25-endorsed candidates about a new form of politics

Election campaign kick-off with:

  • Yanis Varoufakis
  • Daniela Platsch
  • Bianca Praetorius
  • Jasper Finkeldey
  • Joanna Bronowicka
  • Thomas Kellermann

Buy your ticket here and help us to cover the expenses of the night.

Transnational politics has arrived! The movement DiEM25 facilitates a discussion between citizens and citizen-candidates on the first-ever transnational list for the European elections. These candidates are fighting for a Green New Deal with progressive solutions to bring democracy back to Europe! The women and men, nominated in an experiment in grassroots democracy, who will take the programme to the ballot box in May, will answer all your questions and listen to your input.

Our event will not treat participants as passive listeners. Instead it will be about getting into a dialogue. As our venue is a room for inclusion, our event will be the same. After a short introduction from each panellist, we will jump right into the discussion with you in a fishbowl format. Meaning we will have panels consisting of our candidates and you!


Panel I: The connection between local activism and a European election campaign

  • Jasper Finkeldey, organising a campus tour bringing the European Spring to the Universities across Germany
  • Joanna Bronowicka, organising the #register2vote campaign ahead of the European Parliament elections
  • Thomas Kellermann, activist for the “Aktionsbündnis Lichterfelde Süd” campaigning for social housing since 2011


Panel II: Putting a new form of politics into practice in Europe and beyond

  • Yanis Varoufakis, campaigning against austerity politics all across Europe for year
  • Daniela Platsch, pledging for a new and people-powered approach to democratize Europe
  • Bianca Praetorius, connecting technology with democracy, transparency and sustainability

Moderators: Laura Müller and Johannes Fehr

Join us for the exciting time ahead, not stopping on the 26th of May. This European election is only a start fighting for the change we desperately need!

The EU in crisis: What’s next? (panel discussion)

24.01.2018
19:30 – 21:00 (door open 19:00)
Alte Börse Marzahn

More information and early-bird tickets here:
https://www.eventbrite.de/e/the-eu-in-crisis-whats-next-podiumsdiskussion-tickets-54916373351


With xenophobic and authoritarian forces rising across the EU, economies not yet back to pre-2008 levels, Eurozone ‘exits’ becoming more likely and climate catastrophe on the horizon, it’s time to stop what we’re doing and rethink.

The EUROPEAN SPRING, that will be contesting the May 2019 European elections in 11 countries, brings together politicians and activists to give a new, European perspective on these critical issues.

Program:

  • Introductory speech by Yanis Varoufakis
  • Panel 1: Migration and xenophobia
  • Panel 2: Poverty and austerity
  • Panel 3: The Euro and ‘exit’
  • Panel 4: The environment
  • Conclusion

 

Panelists:

  • Agnieszka Dziemianowicz-Bąk, leader of the Polish party Razem
  • Baltasar Garzón, star judge, founder of the Spanish party Actúa
  • David Adler, member of DiEM25´s Coordinating Collective and coordinator of the Progressive International movement
  • Daniela Platsch, director of the Austrian party Der Wandel, lead MEP candidate for Demokratie in Europa
  • Franka Kretschmer, member of the board of the German party Demokratie in Bewegung
  • Isabelle Thomas, member of the European parliament for the French party Génération.s
  • Lorenzo Marsili, Italian writer, founder of European Alternatives, member of DiEM25´s Coordinating Collective
  • Rasmus Nordqvist, member of the Danish parliament for Alternativet
  • Rui Tavares, former MEP, founder of the Portuguese party LIVRE
  • Yanis Varoufakis, co-founder of DiEM25, Secretary of Greek party MeRA25, lead MEP candidate for Demokratie in Europa in Germany for the EUROPEAN SPRING
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