Improbable as it seems, there is actually a vibrant citizens’ research and development lab for innovation in civic life and culture. It has its own building, funding from the city of Madrid, and robust participation from activists, academics, techies, artists, policy experts and ordinary citizens.
Welcome to Medialab Prado in Madrid, Spain. It’s a very special institution that explores new forms of commoning on various tech platforms and systems. Billing itself as a “collective intelligence laboratory for democratic participation,” the lab pursues a wide-ranging agenda of R&D with great brio. In this moment of great danger to democracy, I find it inspiring that a serious, progressive-minded institution is boldly prowling the frontiers of experimental practice.