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

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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Book. Shifting participation into sovereignty: the case of decidim.barcelona

Book cover of Shifting participation into sovereignty: the case of decidim.barcelona

Shifting participation into sovereignty: the case of decidim.barcelona

During 2016 and 2017 I took part on a research led by IT for Change, within the research project titled Voice or Chatter? Using a Structuration Framework Towards a Theory of ICT-mediated Citizen Engagement, and within the umbrella of the research programme Making All Voices Count. My research thoroughly analyzed the case of Decidim, the city council of Barcelona citizen participation initiative to collectivelly ellaborate the strategic plan of the city for 2016-2019.

This book, Shifting participation into sovereignty: the case of decidim.barcelona is the gathering of a policy brief, a state of the art of technopolitics in Spain and a case study of Barcelona's Decidim participation initiative, with some minor improvements. It is the last one of a total of 16 different research outputs of the project, ranging from policy and academic papers to speeches ...

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ICT4D Blog

14/11/2019

DigEnlight2019 (V). ICT for Democracy

Notes from the conference Democracy and Media in the Digital Era, organized by the Digital Enlightenment Forum and the Delegation to the European Union of the Government of Catalonia, and held in Brussels, Belgium, on 14 November 2019. More notes on this event: digenlight2019

ICT for Democracy
Chair: Stefan Klauser, ETH

Digitisation is a challenge to democratic societies. The development of AI, IoT and the collection of behavioural data lies unprecedented power in the hands of private companies. Can digitisation also be used to strengthen self-organisation and democratic processes?

It is discouraging to hear people that e-democracy does not work: it took centuries for actual democracy to work. ICT-based democracy tools may not work in the long term, but we need time to try and to correct to be able to really assess them.

Dirk Helbing (ETH, Zürich, CH)
Digital Empowerment: How to Make It work

Algorithms may turn correlations into casual relations. This can "just happen", but it can also be on purpose and addressed to manipulate the perceptions of people upon reality.

Better education, or better media or digital literacy, may be not ...

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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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