Report from the 15S Hub Meeting in Barcelona

On October 15-18 participants from a range of different civil society networks opposing measures that result in precarity of existence in the wake of international financial crises  convened at the 15S Hub Meeting in Barcelona.  The meetup was coordinated by activists from  the DRY! (Real Democracy Now!) network and  the aim was to explore the possibility of collaboration towards common political vision, objectives and communication on a transnational level- in Europe and beyond. We were there to meet and learn from participants in the various networks as well as to present edgeryders. We were received with a mix of interest and caution; Alberto and I were happy about the former and fully respectful of the latter. Here’s a list of resources where you can find some documentation from the event:

There were a lot of interesting people with a wide range of views present- I’m still thinking about some of the discussions that took place. On the whole it seems the main underlying discussion is about 1) who should pay for what in the wake of the financial crisis and 2) how to make the most of the energy and engagement that they managed to inspire in the people who participated in the protests last October and direct it towards achieving systemic change on a global scale, beginning with European, scale. I think what will leave the most lasting impression on me  is Icelandic Film Director Gunnar Sigurdsson’s personal account of the Icelandic economic collapse and his investigation of what actually happened. I watched his film “Maybe I should have” on the trip back and it was well worth the time. Here’s the trailer:  YouTube // Nadia EL-Imam

Definitely a lot of energy at #15shm. For me it was quite clear that there is no accepted way to deal with an institution that shows up respectfully and wishes to interact. People are so accustomed to having to fight for attention that they are not sure what to do when they get it!

One point is that institutions, or projects funded by them, don’t really know how to interact with these social movements either. and that’s for a good part in the “democratical divide” nowadays, both in national and european political spaces.

I’m sorry to say, there are democratic and political shortcomings about offering to individuals involved in social movements the opportunity to achieve “social entrepreneurship”. And reducing these discussions to failure of communication (on both sides, let’s say) seems a bit too naïve to be really sincere, imho.

Well, bigroot: individuals are not “offered” the opportunity to be social entrepreneurs. Some of them want to, and they do it without waiting for anyone’s permission. Others don’t, and they don’t wait for permission either. All of this is cool.

Having said that, I certainly agree with you that institutions find it very hard to interact with social movements. In the case of Edgeryders, its main goal is to interact with the individuals that wish to participate in the discovery of what Europe’s young are busy doing to build their world; if they participate in social movements, they might want that to tell their peers in different countries. This would be a possible channel for European-level discussion (much invoked in Barcelona), and we guarantee to make that discussion constructive and respectful and keep the trolls out of the way, because we know how to do that. Added benefit: if someone does that and get a lot of kudos, chances are her ideas get picked up and reshared in Brussels. It seems that at least some people in 15-M care about being heard in Brussels, so much that they are going there on foot! So we thought maybe someone would be interested. You think that was naive?

It was an amazing event, good discussion, the Democracy 4.0 is an ingenious initiative… but I was sad because the Open Government concept is not known by the citizenship :frowning:

I don’t like blog-comments to have in-depth discussion. I hope it gets better inside edgeryders (self-regulation of moderated discussion maybe? slashdot style? i can only dream :))

Technological tools integrate moral&political norms in them (See Latour & A.N.T.). What I find naive is not willing to understand/adress the cautiousness for such kind of tools by people who first and foremost are about democratic practices (e.g. how much is edgeryders internally democratic) & political outcomes (e.g. how much edgeryders could help social movements shift work-capital balance in macro-economical policies).

Considered that it is funded by EC…i don’t find these questions trollesque. These are questions that define your new tool. They’ll also define who’ll be using it, and how. I’m kind of scared when you say “We know how to do that”. I’m still waiting to see how it is implemented, what are the social & technological algorithms to enforce power.

Still, i can’t wait to get inside the matrix :slight_smile:

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