About Me

Ismael Peña-López

I am Ismael Peña-López.

I am Director General of Citizen Participation and Electoral Processes at the Government of Catalonia.
Formerly, and during nearly 13 years, I was professor at the School of Law and Political Science of the Open University of Catalonia.
I have also been senior researcher at Open Evidence and fellow director of Open Innovation at Fundació Jaume Bofill.

My main areas of work are the impact of ICTs in society (e-Readiness, the digital divide), especially in development (e-inclusion, ICT4D), and educational (e-Learning, digital competence) and political (e-participation, e-democracy) institutions.

News

Opinion Factsheet . Local and Regional Authorities in the permanent dialogue with citizens

Cover of the opinion factsheet "Local and Regional Authorities in the permanent dialogue with citizens"
Opinion Factsheet "Local and Regional Authorities in the permanent dialogue with citizens"

The European Union is entering a sort of constitutional process. The Conference on the Future of Europe will be a two-year time span devoted to reflect what the EU should be like in many issues, and aiming at institutionalizing this reflection in the form of formal agreements, maybe a new treaty, maybe even a/the constitution.

There is —amongst many others— a big fear driving the conference: the huge disconnection between European institutions and citizens' daily lives, that increasingly leads citizens to take shortcuts in the forms of populism. A populism that increasingly turns to be sheer fascism. This fear, though, can be turned into an opportunity to engage citizens more and better in public decision-making at the European level. This is the take of the European Committee of the Regions, that believes ...

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Article. Open government in new digital states: which libraries for which citizens?


Open government data in new digital states: which libraries for which citizens?

I just published a short article on the future of libraries.

As the Information Society advances, the need of a dire transformation in what libraries do and their mission —among may other institutions— is becoming more and more urgent. My point in the article is that libraries need to transform themselves to help other institutions in their own transformation. Governments, Administrations and, all in all, all democratic institutions need to rethink themselves almost from scratch. And they will not be able to do it unless they find an active citizenry also rethinking its role as full citizens.

My line of thought, thus, in the article is how libraries can help citizens to become more active and empowered and, at their turn, these active citizens can help democratic institutions to become central in society again.

The article has been published as Open government in new digital states: which libraries for which citizens? ...

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ICT4D Blog

19/11/2019

Conference on Democratic Innovation (IV). Regional planning and collaboration

Notes from the conference Conference on Democratic Innovation. Open territories. Rethinking the physical space with the citizens, organized by the Secretary of Transparency and Open Government of the Government of Catalonia, and held in Barcelona, Spain, on 19 November 2019. More notes on this event: territorisoberts2019

Regional planning and collaboration
Chairs: Cristina Palés. Cap del Servei d’Educació Ambiental de la Generalitat de Catalunya

Network for the Conservation of Nature
Marc Vilahur, President

Participation cannot take place at the end of a public policy decision, but has to be intrinsic to the whole project. Participation has to impact not only the key actors, but the whole of the citizenry and the whole of the Administration.

When participation takes place at the beginning of a policy-making process, people tend to turn complains into proposals, tend not to say "no" but "I would like this".

Territory safekeeping is a formal agreement between someone that wants to use the territory and a civic organization that wants to take care of a given territory. In this case, civil society approaches better the territory than the Administration. There ...

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Sociedad Red Blog

21/09/2019

Artivismo, hacktivismo y cooperactivismo

En junio de 2019 me escribió Bernat Puigtobella. Me invitaba a reflexionar para las páginas de la revista Barcelona Metròpolis sobre un tema interesante:

En los últimos años ha aparecido una nueva concepción de la cultura que ha puesto el foco en la participación y las prácticas comunitarias. La incubación de proyectos culturales hoy ya no se valora sólo a partir de su retorno económico o impacto mediático sino por su capacidad transformadora para crear conciencia ciudadana, ataduras, tejido ciudadano, comunidad, etc. [...] Estas nuevas prácticas comunitarias nos invitan a preguntarnos qué rol tendrán los artistas y creadores en ...

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