Making the blockchain civic

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventOrganising a conference, workshop, ...-


To what extent can the application of blockchain technologies be employed towards civic empowerment, organizing local civic and circular economies, or reinstate trust in civic institutions (or, perhaps, create entirely new types of institutions)? In this workshop centered around a speculative design charette, participants will explore opportunities and challenges with regard to designing for future civic good with blockchain technologies.

As Elsden et al. (2018) have recently argued, blockchain is an emerging infrastructural technology that is proposed to fundamentally transform the ways in which people transact, trust, collaborate, organize and identify themselves. So far, however, most debates around these technologies have focused on the technological functions of these technologies, and the affordances of blockchain to organize monetary transactions and trust in new ways. In doing so, it is often argued that these technologies open societies up new modes of decentral organization and possible ‘disruption’ to traditional hierarchical and centralist organizations, be they large banks and corporations or central governments.

In this workshop we want to broaden these discussions, and introduce a value-driven perspective. What could these emerging technology mean for the organization of civil society and civic (media) practices? What future imaginaries and design trajectories can we envision that shape this new technologies from a civic perspective? Following Elsden et. al. we see an important role for the design community in linking the design and application of blockchain technology towards lived experience and the articulation of human values.
Period31 May 20181 Jun 2018
Event typeWorkshop
LocationAmsterdam, NetherlandsShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational