Decidim Fest 2023
Democracy, Technology and Collective Intelligence
Open Assembly of the Decidim Association
Everyone is welcome to participate in this Open Assembly of the Decidim Association.
- Introductions of people / new people
- Presentation of the Sustainability plan
- Presentation of the work of the drafting committee
- Product updates
- Release 0.28, key developments of the year
- How we manage contributions
- Open Roadmap Session: Decidim 2030
The aim of the session is to discuss where Decidim should go in the medium and long term. We don't want to focus on details or talk about specific functionalities, but rather about the strategic orientation of the product. We want to address some fundamental debates that are key to guide the strategic direction. We will split in 3 groups:
- Model of participation and Democratic Quality
- Technical architecture
- Metadecidim Community
Language of the session: English.
1/ Sustainability Plan
We have detected the lack of a sufficiently clear and effective strategy to diversify and increase its sources of long-term funding, to better organise its work and, in short, to improve its functioning in order to best fulfil its objective of guaranteeing the proper functioning of the community and of the Decidim platform.
In order to ensure the continuity of the Decidim project, the need to rethink the Association's sustainability model has become apparent.
To this end, during the year 2023 it was decided to hold a workshop to develop a "Multiannual Sustainability Plan", offered by La Sobremesa, a consultancy firm specialised in supporting institutional strengthening and sustainability processes.
Check the “Sustainability Plan” document for more information.
2/ Drafting Committee
After the open debates in metadecidim and the community meeting we held to discuss this issue, the drafting committee has finally produced a text for each topic of debate. These texts have been open for comments and amendments to the whole community before their final approval. You can consult the texts and the whole participatory process here: https://meta.decidim.org/processes/sustainability-governance
The key developments of this year are:
- Frontend redesign
- Admin panel redesign
- SPAM mitigation
- VOCDONI voting module
- E-voting module
The roadmap is available at: https://github.com/orgs/decidim/projects/22?query=is%3Aopen+sort%3Aupdated-desc
4/ Open Roadmap: Decidim 2030
Model of participation and Democratic Quality
- Actions without registration: Decidim should allow actions without being registered? Which ones?
- User administration? Do you think that users should have the same administration possibilities as administrators?
- Democratic quality: Do you think that Decidim guarantees the democratic quality of the processes that take place in it? What kind of limitations or guidelines should Decidim incorporate in order to promote processes with a higher democratic quality?
- Democratic principles into the code have unintended consequences. Life fins a way. For exemplo, Francesco said that in the US orgs use Decidim to document everything. At the same time it’s important to keep some restrictions. For ex delete things.
- Sharing templates with some best practices that orgs can use as a guideline.
- Related to that they could open a community space, but to share practices to improve democracy or trying to get to a real democracy, instead of the product/ the software itself. Or organize regular community calls to talk about the problems they find.
- No, because rules are context specific and some rules might not apply to the context.
- Maybe push some shared standards. In any case, make some nudging but not forcing.
- Decidim vas specially designed for public administrations. It should be made more agnostic to be able to answer the needs of other organizations.
- About auditing and fiscalizing the quality of participation, make some partnerships with third parties that make rankings, having this more top down index. This is how neoliberalism works, with ratings and rankings.
- At the same time build some evaluation module to collect feedback by participants. bottom up feedback
There were mostly three kinds of contributions to the talk: comments related to the architecture itself, about other related topics, and a meta about how to keep discussing these issues.
- About the technical architecture
- It was detected the need to keep working in new abstractions:
- A ComponentBase or ParticipatorySpaceBase that would allow us to remove code duplication
- Refactoring extraction to gems in some features to make the framework more maintainable
- Improve the technical documentation of the internal APIs
- Reduce external dependencies
- To keep improving the work in Containerization
- A “Launcher” for non-coders
- To have a support for theming
- Full API
- This would allow us to split the frontend and the backend
- Improvements in interoperability
- Semantic web
- Activity Pub
- Full API
- About other topics or aspects of the development:
- To have templates of processes to ease-up the configuration of a new process
- Mobile application
- Accessibility (a11y)
- Artificial Intelligence / Large Language Models related features and APIs
- About the meta proposal: to have periodic (once a month or once every two months) technical session for each of these topics, so we have a space to discuss on how to improve them in detail.
- It’s not clear enough how to be engaged in the community, we need to enhance the structure of the different channels.
- We need to think on the day-zero journey of newcomers
- Metadecidim feels a bit overwhelming, we need to improve the newcomer workflow on it
- We need to think about the different needs of the different targets
- We agreed to:
- Review the newcomers flow in Metadecidm
- Create a calendar of community meetings for 2024
- Generate a space where newcomers can present themselves and start being engaged with the community
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