D-CENT – Decentralised Citizens ENgagement Technologies


D-CENT is a Europe-wide project that has brought together citizen movements and grassroots organizations that have revolutionized democracy in Europe in the past years, and is developing the next generation of open source, distributed, and privacy-aware tools for direct democracy and economic empowerment.

D-CENT grows longer-term alternatives to today’s highly centralized platforms and power structures, and promotes the development of knowledge, digital infrastructures, and data for the common good. It values privacy and security, and is built on open source code and open standards.

D-CENT tools form a federated and distributed architecture¾they can be combined in many ways to support democratic processes. The tools enable citizens to be informed and get real-time notifications about issues that matter to them. They help to propose and draft solutions and policy collaboratively. They can be used to decide and vote on solutions and collective municipal budgeting.

D-CENT runs large-scale pilots in Spain, Finland, and Iceland to develop and test the tools. These pilots have involved thousands of citizens across Europe in municipal decision-making, policy and budgeting. The pilots are engaging democratic organizations and citizen-led coalitions like Podemos, Ahora Madrid, Barcelona en Comù, Open Ministry and Citizen Foundation.

The project has run following experiments: Participation and open consultation platforms in Barcelona and Madrid (decide.madrid.es), Participatory budgeting platform (beta.yrpri.org), Notification service (decisions.dcentproject.eu), and a collaborative policy making platform (objective8.dcentproject.eu).

D-CENT is also developing a blockchain toolkit to manage community trust, reputation, and provide a blockchain reward scheme that is auditable and transparent. D-CENT has contributed actively to the development of open social web standards, an open standardization effort led by the W3C.

D-CENT has done extensive research on new forms of democracy, citizen empowerment and participation. An integrated techno-socio-economic analysis has been carried out on organizational models of emerging social movements, new economic models based on knowledge commons, distributed social networking, identity systems, new models for citizen control of personal and social data, privacy and security by design. All research is available at the project website.

Coordinator: Francesca Bria


D-CENT has a strong international network as its consortium: Nesta (UK), Citizens Foundation (IS), CNRS – Centre d’Économie de la Sorbonne (FR), Dyne.org (NL), Forum Virium Helsinki (FI), International Modern Media Institute (IS), Open Knowledge Foundation (UK), Open University of Catalunya and Eurecat (ES), ThoughtWorks (UK), and World Wide Web Consortium (FR).