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Introducing InDICEs Open Observatory

With the emergence of COVID-19, spring became an eventful period for our project. After the project kick-off meeting in January 2020, we had to adapt and develop different online strategies and resources to maintain the project momentum. A significant adjustment was the creation and early launch of the InDICEs online platform and the open observatory. 

The inDICEs online platform is a collaborative space where partners can come together and collaborate, ideate, and participate in activities to define and make transparent decisions on specific topics.  Developed by consortium partner Platoniq LAB with the use of Decidim – an open-source platform created by the city of Barcelona, as an online space for citizens, to transparently deliberate and make decisions in collaboration with the municipality – the main function of the platform within the project is to develop a model for the online community governance and facilitate the co-creation of the online observatory space.

An early launch – Let’s test it out!

The launch of the platform took place on May with the kick-off of the open observatory. The meeting included an official tour of the platform with all the project partners, activities and games to get everyone involved in the creative and dynamic mindset of an online community.  Participants were asked what and how they envisioned participation in the platform. These questions are essential for designing engagement and participation workflows in the platform in the long run. 

The launch was exclusively for partners of the project as to create a “space” for the project’s activities and collaboration that otherwise would have taken place in person. During this period, we have focused on creating initial spaces and processes to encourage discussions among all the participants. In a later stage, the platform is set to become available for the general public.

Processes & Assemblies

At this moment the platform hosts two different processes: the ‘Co-creation workshop’, that involves online activities that move towards an accessible and instrumental observatory space for our project and, a ‘Support’ process for participants, in case new ideas for features, spot or bugs arise, and for general feedback for the progress of the platform. 

The platform also hosts five different assemblies that entertain ongoing discussions and working groups. An assembly is defined in the platform as a group of members of an organization who meet periodically to make decisions about a specific area or scope of the organization. The active assemblies are:

  1. Participation Model and Ethics – A space to investigate ethics around digital participation within this online platform to develop best practices and guidelines.
  2. Technology Integration – A space to discuss relevant questions around software design and integration of the observatory platform.
  3. Hypothesis – centres in conversations around the definition and calibration of the basic research methods of the project, data gathering and organization. 
  4. Covid-19 Observations, Ideas and Adaptations –  A place for ideation, dialogue, investigation, and sharing around the prevalent issues, resources, tools, and emerging strategies and tactics by CHI’s and their adjacent fields are developing and experiencing due to the appearance of COVID-19
  5. Empowering IPR for the Commons – A place to discuss the place of Intellectual Property Rights in the value chain of Cultural Heritage Institutions.
inDICEs assemblies

Each assembly focus on different aspects of creating an online community centred around observing and creating tools and resources concerning the digitisation of arts and culture.

What’s next? 

The kick-off sparked the beginning of our online InDICEs journey and we expect to use the platform for our first workshop. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, or sign up to our newsletter to stay updated with the latest news of our project.

Cover image: Wellcome laboratories of tropical medicine, 4th or 5th floor, 183 Euston Road. Wellcome Collection, CC BY 4.0