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World's Most Democratic City?

RSVP for April 2, Barcelona v. Bogota, a new Democracy Local event

RSVP Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_0YYI9P9kQUyZJx8N-WR12w

Barcelona vs. Bogota: What Is the World's Most Democratic City?

(presented on Zoom in English and Spanish) April 2, 19.00 CET, 12.00 (Colombia), 10.00 (Pacific)

When people are asked whether they live in a democracy, they often respond based on the state of their national government, and whether it’s responsive to election outcomes. Perhaps we should answer instead by thinking about the state of democracy in our citizens and town. Local democracy is the level of democracy in which most human beings participate. But we don’t have the same rankings, measures and data to compare cities on democracy that institutions like V-Dem or Freedom House for our nations.

 

How do you know if your town or city is a democracy? One way to understand the question is to examine cities that are considered leaders in local democratic practice and innovation. Two instructive urban leaders in democracy are Barcelona, in the Spain’s autonomous Catalonia region, and Bogota, the national capital of Colombia.

 

In this online event, we’ll bring together two democracy scholar-practitioners in Bogota, and two expert-practitioners in Bogota, for a cross-urban exchange and a planetary conversation about how to make our cities more democratic and effective.

 

The “fearless city” of Barcelona, crowned the first European Capital of Democracy in 2022, has advanced too many democratic innovations to list here. Among them are development of citizens assemblies and participatory budgeting, careful planning and democratic transformation of public spaces and facilities to encourage participation, and the building of an online participation and idea platform called Decidim, which is so robust that it’s being used in dozens of cities around the world.

 

Meanwhile, Bogota in the 21st century has developed youth democracy, experimented with new ways of public consultations (including the Itinerant Citizens Assembly), and advanced novel strategies for strengthening civil society organizations that advance democratic practice at the community levels. Bogota is a world leader in using data for democracy and innovation, and has drawn international notice for turning a country club into a public park, creating new people-driven systems to relieve women of care burdens, and adopting widely copied innovations that increase access to transportation (from walking school buses to its Transmilenio rapid bus service).

 

What can we learn from the experiences of Barcelona and Bogota, and the differences between them? Please RSVP now for this free and public online conversation that mixes local stories with planetary lessons.

 

SPEAKERS

Indira Latorre Gonzalez is a senior lecturer at the Universidad del Rosario (Colombia) and co-director of the international Democracy R&D network. She holds a Doctorate in Law from the Pompeu Fabra University of Barcelona (Spain). She also has an Advanced Master's Degree in Legal Science from the same university and a Master's Degree in Administrative Law from the Universidad del Rosario (Colombia). Her areas of expertise include democratic theory and democratic innovation, political legitimacy of global governance, and better regulation. 

 

Marc Serra Solé was born in Barcelona, Spain. He holds a degree in law and sociology and a

Master's in Advocacy from the Illustrious College of Lawyers. He has worked with

organizations dedicated to advocating for social and environmental rights. In 2019, he was

elected as the Councillor for Citizenship Rights and Participation in the Barcelona City

Council, a position he held until May 2023. During his international tenure, he served as the

Secretary General of the International Observatory of Participatory Democracy (OIDP) and

played a pivotal role in Barcelona's successful bid to become the European Capital of

Democracy (2023-2024). Currently, he holds the position of President of the Climate Action

Area and serves as a Deputy for Participation in the Barcelona Provincial Council.

Francesca Bria is one of Europe’s leading digital policy experts. An innovation economist, she works at the intersection of technology, geopolitics, economics, and society. Before taking on her current role as President of the Italian Innovation Fund, she was Chief Digital Technology and Innovation Officer of the City of Barcelona and Advisor on Next Generation Internet and Innovation Policy to the European Commission. She also led major European research and innovation projects, such as the DECODE-project, an effort to reclaim citizens’ data sovereignty, and D-CENT, a Europe-wide project on digital democracy and economic empowerment based at Nesta, Britain's innovation agency for social good. Francesca is Honorary Professor at the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose at the University College London (UCL), where she teaches on digital sovereignty and people-centered smart cities. She is also Senior Advisor on Digital Cities and Digital Rights to the UN. In 2018, Forbes magazine voted her among Europe’s Top 50 Women in Tech.

At THE NEW INSTITUTE Francesca was the director of the program "The New Hanse".

Felipe Rey Salamanca, public law professor at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Colombia, founding partner and project coordinator of democratic innovation laboratory iDeemos, and author most recently of The Representative System. (He also holds a doctorate in law from the Pompeu Fabra University of Barcelona). 

BARCELONA Elisenda Ortega, director of participation and promotion, Barcelona city council (invited, not confirmed)

En español

Barcelona y Bogotá: ¿Cuál es la ciudad más democrática del mundo?

(presentado en Zoom en inglés y español)

El 2 de abril, 13.00 (Bogota) y 19.00 (Barcelona)

Cuando se les pregunta a las personas si viven en una democracia, a menudo responden basándose en el estado de su gobierno nacional y en si responde a los resultados electorales. Quizás deberíamos responder en cambio pensando en el estado de la democracia en nuestra ciudad. La democracia local es el nivel de democracia en el que participa la mayoría de los seres humanos. Pero no tenemos las mismas clasificaciones, medidas y datos para comparar ciudades en democracia que instituciones como Freedom House para nuestras naciones.

¿Cómo sabes si tu pueblo o ciudad es una democracia? Una forma de entender la pregunta es examinar ciudades que son consideradas líderes en prácticas e innovaciones democráticas locales. Dos líderes urbanos instructivos en democracia son Barcelona, en la región autónoma de Cataluña en España, y Bogotá, la capital nacional de Colombia.

En este evento en línea, reuniremos a dos académicos-practicantes de la democracia en Bogotá y a dos expertos-practicantes en Barcelona, para un intercambio interurbano y una conversación planetaria sobre cómo hacer que nuestras ciudades sean más democráticas y efectivas.

La "ciudad valiente" de Barcelona, coronada como la primera Capital Europea de la Democracia en 2022, ha avanzado demasiadas innovaciones democráticas para enumerarlas aquí. Entre ellas se encuentran el desarrollo de asambleas de ciudadanos y presupuestos participativos, una planificación cuidadosa y una transformación democrática de espacios y instalaciones públicas para fomentar la participación, y la creación de una plataforma de participación e ideas en línea llamada Decidim, que es tan robusta que se está utilizando en docenas de ciudades de todo el mundo.

Mientras tanto, Bogotá en el siglo XXI ha desarrollado la democracia juvenil, ha experimentado con nuevas formas de consultas públicas (incluida la Asamblea Itinerante de Ciudadanos) y ha avanzado en estrategias novedosas para fortalecer las organizaciones de la sociedad civil que promueven la práctica democrática a nivel comunitario. Bogotá es líder mundial en el uso de datos para la democracia e innovación, y ha llamado la atención internacional por convertir un club campestre en un parque público, crear nuevos sistemas dirigidos por la gente para aliviar a las mujeres de las cargas de cuidado y adoptar innovaciones ampliamente copiadas que aumentan el acceso al transporte (desde autobuses escolares a pie hasta su servicio de autobús rápido Transmilenio).

¿Qué podemos aprender de las experiencias y exitos de Barcelona y Bogotá, y de las diferencias entre ellas? Por favor, confirma tu asistencia ahora a esta conversación en línea gratuita y pública que mezcla historias locales con lecciones planetarias.

PONENTES

Bogotá: Indira Latorre González, profesora titular de la Universidad del Rosario (Colombia); co-directora de la red internacional de Investigación y Desarrollo en Democracia (También es doctora en derecho por la Universidad Pompeu Fabra de Barcelona).

Felipe Rey Salamanca, profesor de derecho público en la Pontificia Universidad Javeriana de Colombia, socio fundador y coordinador de proyectos del laboratorio de innovación democrática iDeemos, y autor más recientemente de El Sistema Representativo. (También es doctor en derecho por la Universidad Pompeu Fabra de Barcelona). 

BARCELONA: Elisenda Ortega, directora de participación y promoción, Ayuntamiento de Barcelona

Moderador del evento: Joe Mathews, fundador y editor de DemocracyLocal.com y becario en el programa de democracia del Instituto Berggruen

IMAGE CREDIT: CC BY-SA 3.0 es The photographical reproduction of this work is covered under the article 35.2 of the Royal Legislative Decree 1/1996 of April 12, 1996, and amended by Law 5/1998 of March 6, 1998, which states that: Works permanently located in parks or on streets,

The photographical reproduction of this work is covered under the article 35.2 of the Royal Legislative Decree 1/1996 of April 12, 1996, and amended by Law 5/1998 of March 6,