Participatory Systems

Faced with ecological crisis, climate crisis, a financial crisis and an urban civic crisis in which fewer and fewer people trust other people they do or do not know, the same ‘old’ potential of technology can be used to design ‘participatory systems’. Participatory systems, technological platforms to which social structures, agency and human dignity are at the core, help share resources and organize new ways of distributing energy, food, water, healthcare, education, culture and more. In participatory systems, social networks and infrastructure merge to monitor and inspire behaviour of those who participate.

People like to participate, like to be part of a larger whole. In families, in neighbourhoods, in communities and organizations of all sorts, and as current activity on the Internet shows, people like to share.

A new era dawns within which a ‘planetary perspective’ of the social- and ecosystem upon which all life depends, is fundamental. In this era collaboration and sharing in specific and compartmentalized ways – with respect for the earth, its resources and each other – needs to be designed from a local and global perspective at the same time. Fundamental to such ‘participatory systems’ is, how human beings can accept responsibility and will be proud to do so. Participation needs to include that people can be witness to each other.