Medialab-Prado Collective Intelligence Laboratory for Democratic Participation, Madrid

Open Call for projects

Over a period of fifteen days, the eight multidisciplinary teams taking part in the Collective Intelligence for Democracy workshop will create prototypes to activate collective intelligence and improve democracy and civic engagement.

This is the call for projects of the international workshop Collective Intelligence for Democracy from November 3th to November 18th. Come with us to have two weeks of collaborative work, of multidisciplinary teams around projects related to commons, oriented democracy citizen participation and the tools and methodologies that facilitate these processes.

We need new tools to help us move towards real democracy using the possibilities offered by the new network technologies. The democratic cities of the future demand new technologies to enable us to undertake distributed forms of political action and collaborative decision-making, in order to achieve a new commons oriented democracy paradigm. To this end the Medialab-Prado Collective Intelligence Laboratory for Democratic Participation invites people around all the world to Madrid, to think together and develop new hybrid -digital and face to face – mechanisms that address challenges relating to democratic participation: collaborative filtering, deliberation and discussion, decision-making, offline-online flow, crowdlaw, etc.

We call on hackers, activists, politicians, programmers, scholars, designers and any other person with an interest in distributed democracy, bottom up processes and participation technologies. Our aim is to create new hybrid -digital and face to face- prototypes that facilitate and open new paths to direct democratic participation. We value initiatives based on reconstructing existing developments, hacking digital open-source platforms to give them new uses and even designing participation processes using existing tools or face to face dynamics. Designs and even code development from scratch will also be considered. We want these initiatives to be able to be experienced by users in some sort of real way, having the opportunity of testing them in Madrid city, a place where participation is the new common ground. We want ideas and designs but we also want to experiment with them in the citizen laboratory in real time to assess the feasibility of the proposals.

All expenses will be paid for the projects selected for one person for a period of two weeks in Madrid (travels, hotel and meals). Up to 8 collaborators shall be selected for each project, to help create a work team to assist with the thought process and design of the desired prototype based on the original project idea, and to cover all the needs required in order to develop the desired prototype. In addition, the entire team shall have access to technical professional programming and design support during this time, and also to the advice of the workshop mentors.

Collaborators will have all expenses (accommodation, meals) covered in Madrid. Trips are not included.

Global Alliance

This year we are creating a global alliance to recruit projects and collaborators. We have a global democratic crisis, we need a global action. Participation technologies are being developed and experimented all around the globe, from social movements in Brazil to new parties in Chile or Open Governments in Taiwan. We need to collect this expertise to upgrade our common technologies. We need a network of participation technologies. These partners will come to Madrid,will collaborate in the strategy of the call and workshops and will help to spread the word.

These are the nodes: Red de Innovación Política de Latinoamérica (Latin America), Africtivistes (Africa), g0v.(Taiwan), Code for Germany (Germany), The Gov Lab (US) and King’s College Center for Digital Culture (UK).

Open Call Rules and Regulations

A maximum of 8 proposals shall be developed during the workshop (3rd November – 17th November). These shall be selected from the replies to this open call.

All proposals submitted must be open to the participation of interested parties (collaborators) who can contribute towards their development during the workshop.
Proposals may be submitted individually or collectively, with no limitation on the number of proposals that each participant or team may submit.
Once the selection process is complete, registration shall be opened to any persons wishing to participate as collaborators for each individual proposal. Collaborator registration shall begin on 20th July, on the Medialab-Prado website.

Workshop Schedule

On 20th July the selected projects shall be published and registration will be opened to all those wishing to participate as collaborators.
On 3rd and 4th November the workshops shall begin, with public presentation of the projects and discussions with tutors and other guests.
From 6th November to 17th November, after work groups have been formed from interested collaborators, the projects shall be developed. A final prototype shall be presented on the last day.
On 16th and 17th November, Consul Conference (parallel event).
18th November, Democratic Cities International Conference.

During the workshop, ideas will be tested out and prototypes will be developed in interdisciplinary groups composed of all interested participants, coordinated by the project developer. Groups will be supported and evaluated by guest international tutors, and will have the space, equipment and materials necessary to develop each project. These must be requested in the initial proposal.

We assume that free and open-source software will be used in the workshop, that projects will be based on open standards and that the results will be available under licences conducive to re-appropriation, reuse and distribution.

The workshop will be held in English and in Spanish, with no formal translation services offered.

Upon termination of the workshop, the final prototypes shall be exhibited for two months at Medialab Prado.

Obligations of Selected Parties

Selected individuals or groups undertake to attend all days of the workshop.
They also undertake to finish and appropriately document the proposed prototypes.
Projects submitted must be open to and promote the participation of interested persons.
Basic information on the projects, in regard to the process as well as the outcome, shall be recorded in the Medialab-Prado collaborative work platform at
Similarly, participants shall include their code in a repository accessible to the public and publish it under an open-source licence enabling reuse thereof. During the workshop, support with documentation shall be provided.
Project credits shall list the participation of each member of the team and their role within the workshop.
The organisation encourages and supports the use of open-source programs for the purpose of developing the projects.
Once the exhibition has ended, participants undertake to remove their material within a maximum period of 15 days. After said period has lapsed, Medialab-Prado reserves the right to take any actions in regard thereto that it deems appropriate.

Project Evaluation Criteria

Relevance to the general objectives of the event and the subject matter of the open call.
Innovative and experimental in nature.
Combination of digital tool with face to face processes.
Clarity of the proposal and suitability of the methodology and workshop development time (the aim is to produce a prototype by the end of the workshop. The proposal must therefore detail all parts of the project for which a prototype could be produced within the allotted period, and the parts for which this would be impossible.)
Diversity in terms of approach and origin will be viewed positively, with consideration given to how the project fits in with the proposals to be selected as a whole.
Scalability and ease of reproducing the prototype will be an advantage.

Accommodation and Travel Expenses

Upon request by participants who reside outside of Madrid, Medialab-Prado will provide accommodation in the Hotel Mediodía for the duration of the workshop.
It will also cover travel expenses for one person per selected proposal.


Anyone interested in participating in the workshop must complete and send the form provided below before July 15th at 11:59pm GMT+1.

Selection Committee

Projects shall be evaluated and selected by workshops tutors and Medialab-Prado and partners, through the Collective Intelligence for Democratic Participation Lab.

Authorship and Intellectual Property

Participants in the open call whose projects (texts, photographs and videos) are selected shall licence their work in a manner permitting Medialab-Prado to publish it in any physical or digital format for the maximum time period and territorial scope provided for by law, allowing said work to be transformed in order to improve its dissemination and distribution. After projects have been selected, while the activity is underway the author shall be obligated to permit any other participant(s) in the activity that has been convened to use their work as the basis for other derivative work.


Click here to apply.