4 November 2014 (14.00-16.00) - Room 11 – Palais de l’Europe, Interpretation: FR/EN


For the generation of ‘digital natives’, the internet has become the most important space for political debate. However, the transformative potential of an online public sphere is not yet transformed into action by traditional offline democracy. Can youth build a bridge between the two spheres by ‘hacking’ democracy?

DemocracyOS and The Net Party, Argentina

After 200 years of working with the same printing-press-age technology, democracy has grown stale. The Net Party is a group of activists, students and entrepreneurs in Buenos Aires that took action and decided it was time to change the tool and innovate where nobody dares to: in politics. They aim to hack the political system creating an alternative with 2 elements: a new kind of political party, The Net Party (Partido de la Red) where the representatives commit themselves to always vote according to an open-source online platform where every citizen can participate called DemocracyOS. DemocracyOS is an open source online platform designed for parliaments and other collective decision-making institutions, that allows citizens to get informed, join the conversation and vote how they want their representatives to vote. It empowers citizens, allowing them to bring about a more inclusive, collaborative, open and intelligent social system and seeks to recover a robust public debate as a collective cause. The Net Party ran for elections in the city of Buenos Aires in 2013, got 22.000 votes (a succesful debut with 1.2% of the electorate) and DemocracyOS is live and is currently used by activists in Latinamerica and Middle East.


Ms Pia MANCINI, Argentina, Director of Net Democracy

Pia Mancini is a Political Scientist and Director of Net Democracy, a foundation that proposes a space where citizens can meet to imagine, design and implement innovations on the political system that open up democracy's bandwidth. Peer and co-founder of The Net Party, President of arteBA's Young Committee, Political Studies (UTDU), MA in Asian Studies (Australia). Former Chief of Advisors Deputy Secretary of Political Affairs, Government of the City of Buenos Aires.


Mr Santiago SIRI, Argentina, Founder of The Net Party

Santiago Siri is peer of Partido de la Red (The Net Party), a political party that aims to widen the broadband of democracy and lower the costs of political activism through the use of social media. In the past he founded Popego, a pioneering big data and social media research lab acquired by boo-box in 2011. As an advocate of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, he created The Whuffie Bank, a non-profit to re-think the future of money in 2009. He was part of a pioneering generation developing videogames in Argentina, founding the Argentine Game Developers Association and part of game studio Three Melons (acquired by Disney in 2010). Elected as Global Shaper by the World Economic Forum, he contributes in radio and television evangelizing about the virtues of technology.



Discussants are invited to make critical comments during the lab on the impact, transferrability, sustainability and risk of the initiative.

Ms Andrea CHALUPA, United States, Journalist

Andrea Chalupa is a journalist and the author of Orwell and The Refugees: The Untold Story of Animal Farm. She has written for TIME, The Atlantic, The Daily Beast, and Forbes. Some of the institutions where she has spoken include Columbia University, McGill University, and the National Press Club in Washington, DC. She is a founder of DigitalMaidan, an online movement that made the Ukrainian protests the #1 trending topic on Twitter worldwide. Her first screenplay, about George Orwell struggling to publish Animal Farm, the book that made him famous, is in development in Europe.

Mr Gcobani QAMBELA, South Africa, Blogger, Social commentator and Writer

Gcobani Qambela is member of the Bokamoso Leadership Forum. He has worked extensively in quantitative and qualitative research focused on sexual and reproductive health, public health, governance and politics, sustainable development and youth education. He has also worked for Princeton University, the Centre for AIDS Development Research and Evaluation, North Carolina State University and Rhodes University. He has undertaken high level consultative strategy, policy formulation for SA Department of Social Development, along with international institutions as African Union, Johns Hopkins Health and Education SA, Academy for Educational Development, IDRC and USAID amongst others. He blogs widely for a number of SA and international platforms and outlets.


Mr Halldór Auðar SVANSSON, Iceland, City councillor in Reykjavík, Pirate Party

Halldór Auðar Svansson is a city councillor in Reykjavík, Iceland. He ran for the Pirate Party in the local election in the spring of 2014, where the party won one seat out of 15 in the city council. The Pirate Party is part of the majority coalition in Reykjavík, along with three other parties. Svansson's areas of responsibility in the city include heading the city's Committee on Administration and Democracy, which oversees administrative reforms in line with the coalition's platform of increasing transparency and offering the citizens of Reykjavík greater opportunities for direct participation.


Ms Nicole GAUTHIER, France, Director, School of Journalism at University of Strasbourg

Nicole Gauthier is director of School of Journalism of Strasbourg University since 2009, 1st of september. As a journalist, she worked during 22 years for french daily Liberation (fields society, politics, features...). She is Vice President of the French Conference of Journalism schools and of the National Conference of Journalism trades. Nicole Gauthier holds a PhD in political science and is associated member of CNRS/University of Strasbourg Laboratory SAGE (Societies, Actors and Government in Europe). Her specialities are participative democracy, political parties, as well as internet and media.