©Victor Parreno, All rights reserved Link: http://vpvfoto.blogspot.fi/2012/05/12m15m-barcelona.html

Lean inception workshops: Building on existing experiments

D-CENT builds on Europe’s largest experiments in direct democracy in Finland, Iceland and Spain. Since October 2013, we have organized pilot workshops in these three countries, talking to people and finding out their needs and requirements for future tools for digital democracy.

The existing experiments that D-CENT builds on are Open Ministry crowdsourcing website linked into parliament in Finland, the participation democracy websites Better Reykjavik and Better Iceland in Iceland, and 15M, one of Europe’s most dynamic social movements in Spain. These experiments show how millions of citizens can become engaged in deliberation, and decision-making.

Workshopping and meetings

Since October 2013, D-CENT has organized one pilot workshop in each pilot country: Helsinki, Reykjavik and Barcelona. We have interviewed lots of people who already have used tools for direct democracy on an ad hoc basis – to see what they have to say. We have collected experiences of the existing online tools for direct democracy and social currencies, and listened to people’s frustrations and needs.

Read more about the Lean Inception Workshops:


From the interviews, we will build hypothesis of what might be the usable features needed for the D-CENT platform. The goal is also to find out the MVP (“Minimal Viable Product”) in each pilot country – a feature or application of D-CENT what would instantly benefit the communities. For D-CENT, MVP means something simple to start with, allowing us to test our hypothesis. The key is that this “something” will have the necessary features to attract enough users to give us feedback.

D-CENT crew pose, Barcelona 2014

What’s next?

During the spring and summer 2014, the D-CENT team will test the MVP’s – the immediately usable tools – in the pilot countries. These tools vary in size and content according to the country. For example, in Spain we will pilot a polling tool. In Helsinki, the testing will include a notification service built on top of the API connecting to the City of Helsinki’s decision-making document repository (Open Ahjo).

We will also make a thorough analysis of the interviews and create hypothesis for the D-CENT platform: what would be usable and relevant to be included. The hypothesis will then be refined based on the user tests in the pilot countries.

We hope that after the summer we will have a set of D-CENT tools we can provide as a prototype for wider use. At this point we also plan to open up a process to the open source developers and citizen communities to be involved.






Follow us

Project partners