Civic Tech Party

We would like to thank all those who took part in the event Civic Tech Party - Digital Civic Technologies for Communities the hybrid-mode seminar (in-person and online, with free admission) aimed at the university community and local stakeholders to discuss the opportunities offered by digital civic technologies for the production of public value with a view to equity and sustainability.

CIVIC TECH PARTY was organized by the Territories and Digital Communities research group a the Computer Science Department of the University of Turin, in collaboration with CPS - Department of Cultures, Politics and Society, UNCEM - Unione Nazionale Comuni Comunità Enti Montani and ANCI PIEMONTE - Associazione Nazionale Comuni Italiani.

It was hosted at the Sala Lauree Rossa at CAMPUS LUIGI EINAUDI - Lungo Dora Siena, 100A - TORINO, on Wednesday, October 5 - from 2:30 to 6:30 pm.

The proposal was part of the calendar of the Festival of Sustainable Development, promoted by Asvis - Italian Alliance for Sustainable Development, the largest Italian initiative to raise awareness of civil society on the issues of economic, social and environmental sustainability, which is divided into traditional in-person and online events to encourage discussion, share the best initiatives and stimulate demands that from below commit the country’s leadership to the commitments made at the UN with the 2030 Agenda.

For those who were not there and for those who want to keep track of the issues addressed, here is the link to listen back to the seminar:

For easier enjoyment, we leave indication of the program of the speeches, moderated by Monica Cerutti:

  • Opening > Guido Boella - Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Turin for the promotion of relations with businesses and business associations and for coordination with industrial innovation initiatives in the territory and scientific head of the research group Territories and Digital Communities
  • at minute 19:00 > Marco Bussone, UNCEM President: “Places of community:restarting from villages to regenerate territories”
  • at minute 40:19 > Giacomo Pettenati of the Department of Cultures, Politics and Society: “Right to mountains and digital technologies: from infrastructure to the exercise of citizenship”
  • at minute 56:40 > Michele Pianetta, Vice President with responsibility for Innovation and Smart Cities of ANCI PIEMONTE: “Piedmont: innovation and development of mountain and rural communities”
  • at minute 01:06:00 > Laura Cantarella of OSTANA - SMART RURAL 21: “Smart Villages for rural communities: the case of Ostana”
  • at minute 01:33:28 > Claudio Schifanella, Eloheh Mason and Cristina Viano: “Presentation and demo of FirstLife, geo-referenced civic social network, and CommonsHood, Blockchain-based wallet app.”

We will work to ensure that this is only the first in a series of events, because, as emerged yesterday afternoon, it is increasingly urgent to be able to establish alliances and collaborations with territories and communities in order to transfer the skills needed to kick-start a concrete revitalization process.

And digital civic technologies can play a key role.

Thank you and see you at the next Civic Tech Party!


June 9-12 saw the first edition of NEB FESTIVAL, the international event organized by New European Bauhaus: beautiful, sustainable, together, the European program dedicated to giving voice, visibility and resources to those dedicated to designing and implementing collective and participatory actions to improve cities and the quality of life of their inhabitants.

The event was declined into 4 sections:

  • MOBILE FAIR in Brussels = exhibition in itinerant form in the main squares of the city center on environmentally sustainable mobile means (light mobility), such as bicycles and electric vehicles
  • FIXED FAIR with fixed stands at the Brussels Maritime Races, an excellent example of sustainable reuse of industrial architectural heritage
  • SITE SPECIFIC with simultaneous events in major European cities
  • FORUMS (offline and online) with a calendar of meetings and debates to reflect together on the future of the built environment.

Our digital civic technologies FirstLife and CommonsHood participated both as exhibitors during the mobile fair and as guests at the site-specific eventA Day at Porta Palazzo” in Turin at the Porta Palazzo Central Market (Piazza della Repubblica), in collaboration with the City of Turin, Links Foundation and The Gate Porta Palazzo.

Being in Brussels allowed us to fully grasp the interdisciplinary and inclusive soul of the NEB movement and to lay the groundwork for future collaborations with many entities that, like our research group, are dedicated to the design and implementation of processes and tools to facilitate civic participation, to promote and facilitate co-design processes intended for communities in cities and territories, and to improve the production and preservation of common goods.

During the Turin event, we had the opportunity to consolidate relationships and collaborations with some of the realities that work in the urban landscape and with whom we share the urgency of continuing to build together a city capable of responding to contemporary needs for sustainability, inclusion and beauty, starting from the awareness that active citizenship and a forward-looking political vision are the sine qua non conditions for giving concreteness to the future of the spaces and ways in which we live.

Almost a year ago, at the launch of the NEB program, artist Olafur Eliasson said, “The change of perspective happens when to the question: who is the audience? we manage to answer, Oh, it’s me, it’s also me, not just me!” And we can say that this shift in perspective is happening and that NEB has the strength to bring together the proposals and actions of individuals to give birth to a movement that will truly be a promoter of a reconversion of the way we think about the future and live in the present, that will be a megaphone to demand change, inspire policy and give voice to ALL voices. As Carlos Moreno made clear during his speech, we no longer have time to hope for things to change, we must demand it. We, for our part, will continue unceasingly to improve our civic technologies as a tool that can offer a digital world that does not replace the physical world, but on the contrary can make it more sustainable, beautiful and inclusive.

To learn about the projects featured at the fair and listen again to the forum speeches visit: NEB Platform or the gE.CO Map where we have mapped some of the most significant realities present in Brussels.

Biennale della prossimità
Biennale della prossimità

We participated in the fourth edition of the Biennial of Proximity on June 10 and 11, 2022 in Brescia, Italy by presenting FirstLife and its connection with CommonsHood in the session “The Digital Transition: does it bring us closer together or pull us apart?”

Our digital civic technologies are tools naturally aimed at developing proximity, territorial and value-based, from the “digital” to the “physical.” Central is the concept of place, which is one of the main entities on FirstLife.

Our digital civic network can foster the courses of action identified by the Biennial, such as networking, comparing and exchanging best practices among entities implementing proximity actions, and initiating proximity awareness actions towards citizenship.

It can also be a tool to carry out training activities in schools and more generally to train “agents of proximity” as well as being a training ground for co-design.

At the same time, CommonsHood can be used in proximity exchanges aimed at supporting local economic activities, as well as innovating local welfare services.

Twenty Italian proximity realities were presented at the Biennial, including two from Turin, the Neighborhood Houses and the Popular Culture Network, all of which are very interesting, and with which we hope to initiate future comparisons and collaborations throughout the country.

Among the researchers present, we highlight Ezio Manzini, who wrote “Inhabiting Proximity. Ideas for the 15-minute city,” the spatial organizational model we use in crowdmapping on FirstLife.

Special thanks go to Georges Tabacchi and Gianfranco Marocchi, directors of the Biennial.


ROME - Riscatti di città (Cities Redemption)

Palazzo Merulana is a symbol of the regeneration of the city of Rome, it hosts Riscatti di città, an exhibition project about contemporary urban development of Rome. Curated by TWM Factory and H501 City Hub, in collaboration with CoopCulture.

Since 2019, the young creative hub TWM Factory has been focusing on the exploration of the city of Rome, targeting places and methods of regeneration. The exhibition displays two large maps, one dedicated to abandoned buildings and redeveloped places (around 430) and the other one to informal cultural centers (more than 250) which, as Nicola Brucoli, one of the curators, explains: “informal cultural centers are demonstrating their regenerative power of territories and communities, just think that 30% of these have opened in the past two years and that more than 50% are run by people under the age of 35".

The two maps are also available online on the interactive crowd-mapping platform ** **co-created with the Computer Science Department of the University of Turin, using the FirstLife tool. The online maps tool represents an opportunity to involve citizens in mapping and as well as in testing new models of governance that allow all urban actors to be active players in the process of social recovery, eco-centredness and digital transition of the contemporary urban environment. In addition to the maps, the exhibition includes two photographic projects, a series of illustrations, a green installation and a gallery of ongoing projects in the field of urban planning and sustainable mobility, an urgent issue, especially in a complex city like Rome.

The mix of examples and projects, research and media suggest that “Riscatti di città” is an opportunity to build a collective dialogue, in which young people are the key actors. (It should be the responsibility of the institutions involved, the politicians and also of the economic world to capitalize on the ideas brought together by this exhibition project) 

Nowadays, regeneration is a choral action that crumbles as soon as the soloists impose themselves by virtue of better performances. It is time to subvert the narrative!

For info on the exhibition and for the calendar of related events:

FirstLife goes back to school!
FirstLife goes back to school!

FirstLife - the civic social network developed by the Social Computing Group of the Computer Science Department of the University of Turin - has restarted its teaching activities in primary and secondary schools in the context of civic education courses.

The aim is to raise awareness among young people on issues of public interest, using digital technology as a tool to amplify the real and to give voice to the specific needs of adolescents, which are often under-represented.

The involvement of schools began in 2016 with the TeenCarTO project, carried out in collaboration with the geography research group of the Department of Culture, Politics and Society; a project that arose from the request of the Turin City Council’s Youth Policies Department to understand the way teenagers live and relate to the territory and urban spaces. This was the start of a process of co-designing the city WITH young people, which is now being channelled into a single platform, called EDU, a large container in which to collect and keep track of all the considerations, analyses and proposals that have emerged, gradually building a collective geography of the city of the teenagers.

The educational paths proposed by FirstLife are structured in teaching modules, each of which is tailored to the needs and expectations that emerge during the initial phases of discussion and knowledge with teachers and students.

These include:

  • Moments of in-depth study on emerging themes (sustainability, inclusion, active citizenship, etc.);
  • Approach to innovative practices, disciplines and tools, such as the new geography, participatory journalism and civic technologies;
  • Direct experience and knowledge of the territory in order to bring out the critical points and potential of the urban context;
  • Use of analytical techniques and tools such as mind maps, immersive walks, field analysis;
  • Meetings with leading figures from the community and with representatives of public and private territorial realities and institutions offering services for young people.

What emerges from these activities (stories, reflections, critiques, events, etc.) is reported on the participatory mapping of the platform, making the photographic and textual contributions public and available to all citizens; for this reason, another aspect that is taken care of is the quality of the content and the education to a conscious and slow use of the digital tool, as opposed to what happens with mainstream social networks.

At the moment, the Civic and Digital Education courses are ongoing with the Perotti Toscanini Secondary School classes in District 3 and a group of students involved in the PCTO programme of the Social Institute of the Jesuit Fathers in District 2.

Seven classes from the Perotti School are taking part, divided into three different paths, each one focusing on a specific theme: Sustainability for the first and second classes, Female Toponymy for the second classes and Adolescents and the territory for the third classes. District 3, represented by its President Francesca Troise, was involved right from the early stages of defining the activities, demonstrating a strong interest in activating a constructive and proactive dialogue with the young people, who are often under-represented, yet bearers of specific needs and interests, but also of bright ideas and visions for the future of their territory.

Over the next few weeks, the students will meet with local actors and players and, like a small editorial team, will be called upon to return the results of these encounters by producing photographic and narrative reports or by initiating active citizenship processes. The participatory mapping and the tangible results of the activities will be presented at the beginning of June in a public presentation to families, representatives of District 3 and all the stakeholders involved.

At the Social Institute of the Jesuit Fathers we are working with a group of girls and boys from the Classical, Scientific and Sport courses who are participating in the PCTO programme (alternating school-work). We are co-constructing and co-designing an active citizenship course so that their needs and passions can find spaces for expression and satisfaction in the geography of everyday life.

The girls and boys are demonstrating a deep interest in the activities proposed and in the topics dealt with, but more than anything else they are surprising us with the awareness with which they observe their territory and express their needs and aspirations for the future.

Listening to them describe with emotion the maps of everyday life and read the sensations during the immersive walks, observing their curiosity and incredulity in front of the socio-economic and environmental difficulties and hearing their proposals to improve the situation make us more proud day after day to see a conscious and sensitive generation growing up.

We will keep you updated on the next steps, here and on our social channels!

New European Bauhaus and Civic Technologies
New European Bauhaus and Civic Technologies

The New European Bauhaus is the creative and interdisciplinary European movement dedicated to the dissemination of practices and projects that improve the places where we spend our lives, and that contribute to making cities and territories increasingly sustainable and inclusive.

NEB promotes local solutions that respond to global challenges, supporting innovative ways and practices of living in connection with the natural and artificial environment; it is based on three key principles:

  • Sustainability: Agenda2030 goals, circularity, reduction of pollution, protection of biodiversity;
  • Aesthetics: balance between functionality and quality of experience, between approach and ethics;
  • Inclusion: valuing diversity, equality, accessibility and coexistence.

NEB is looking for projects and proposals, also already implemented, that support these values. In order to facilitate the research, it launches annual calls for prize for solutions that are distinguished by excellence and creativity.

The call for the Bauhaus Prizes 2022 closed on 7th March.

The Social Computing Group of the Computer Science Department of the University of Turin has submitted two digital platforms that help to improve daily urban life, focusing on better living together, promoting cooperation from below and empowering citizens with a new way of creating value:

  • FirstLife - civic social network
  • CommonsHood - wallet app based on blockchain technology

In these years of experimentation and practices together with citizens in different urban and territorial contexts, the two civic technologies have proved exemplary in involving active citizenship, facilitating and supporting the co-design, co-production and co-management of urban services, and in ensuring financial inclusion. FirstLife and CommonsHood are the result of a co-design process involving representatives of different local stakeholder groups: associations, schools, local authorities, citizens and local businesses; due to this approach and their functionalities, they play an active role in empowering local actors, trigger positive social changes, embed new systems of relationships and social values and demonstrate that sharing goods, services and visions is the first step towards a sustainable future. In sum, they are tools in line with the principles of the New European Bauhaus, but not only: they could support the movement itself and serve other projects, ideas and proposals.

More than 1,100 participants took part in the competition, demonstrating that Europe is full of sustainable, beautiful and inclusive projects. The winning projects will be announced during the New European Bauhaus Festival in mid-June in Brussels.

Fingers crossed! 🤞


TINGANGUE VOUGRÉ - Natural Rebirth - Sustainable development and protection of the natural heritage of the Goada Forest

Cooperation project in Burkina Faso

The Unione Montana Valli Orco e Soana (TO) has set up a partnership with the Equiliberi Onlus association and the Computing Science Department of the University of Turin, in order to use FirstLife, previously adapted to Burkina Faso, for support the project TINGANGUE VOUGRÉ - Natural Rebirth.

FirstLife is mapping the land use in the Goada Forest, in Burkina Faso, where it is taking action to defend protected land, enhancing the agro-forestry sector and promoting sustainable agriculture also outside protected areas.

The opportunities for direct interaction between Italian and Burkinabe municipalities will increase, as well as the quality of their exchanges, thanks to the use of FirstLife. They can directly share and apply best practices in public-private partnerships for the protection of the natural heritage of the Goada forest.


For the Christmas Equiliberi Onlus has launched the fundraising campaign “Piantla-lì” in the name of the Goada Forest. See more on:

Technical Partners - In Italy: Unione Montana Valli Orco e Soana, Associazione Equiliberi onlus, Gruppo di Azione Locale del Canavese and the Computing Science Department of the University of Turin. In Burkina Faso: Municipality of Kongoussi, AJPEE NGO, Ministère de L’Environnement, de l’Économie verte et du Changement climatique and the Ministère de l’Agriculture, aménagements Hydro-Agricoles et Mécanisation.

Financial partners - Regione Piemonte, Fondazione Compagnia di San Paolo, Otto per Mille della Chiesa Valdese, other private foundations.

Here the partial results of the project:

For info:

WeGovNow: Local Event
WeGovNow: Local Event

WeGovNow Local Event: Towards #WeGovernment: approcci collettivi e partecipativi per affrontare le sfide delle politiche locali.

WeGovNow, progetto europeo finanziato dal programma Horizon 2020, sviluppa e convalida una piattaforma digitale in grado di coinvolgere la società civile nella coproduzione dei servizi rivolti al cittadino e nell’implementazione partecipata di approcci strategici allo sviluppo delle comunità. La piattaforma WeGowNow testa approcci e funzionalità in tre siti pilota: Torino, San Donà di Piave, London Borough of Southwark. Nelle tre municipalità la piattaforma viene utilizzata dagli utenti in una serie di scenari (use case) sviluppati dalle municipalità stesse che intendono non solo incrementare l’utilizzo della tecnologia, ma anche rendere più innovativi i processi amministrativi migliorandone l’efficienza e l’efficacia. [](WeGovNow Local Event)

delectus aut autem
delectus aut autem

Celebrating November 25th, 2022 International Day for Combating Gender-based Violence, we present the mapping of antiviolence centers in the city of Turin and province. Elaborated from data collected and published by the Piedmont Region, the map consists of 28 places, reference and listening points where to ask for help and support.

The mapping is a tool for everyone in need. Its interactive features make it possible to build a virtual and physical network where information, needs and stories can be exchanged, a tool to help the community give voice and support to all those who fight against gender-based violence.

The mapping can be seen on the Quartieri Attivi platform where some of our ongoing projects, in collaboration with the local community, converge, dedicated to telling, enhancing and improving the urban context of the city of Turin. The points and information associated with antiviolence centers are georeferenced and organized within the thematic list “Anti-Violence Centers Turin and Province” posted on the wall.

The antiviolence centers distributed in the Turin area are 9 to each of which are associated counters -28 in total- listening points and places to welcome and support women, and their minor children, who have suffered violence or are exposed to the threat of all forms of violence, regardless of their place of residence.

Specifically, the centers:

  • offer free social protection, reintegration paths
  • and social-health interventions;
  • guarantee functionality and safety, both for the women received and their children, and for those who work there;
  • operate in conjunction with the managing bodies of social welfare functions and public and private bodies dealing with gender-based violence, through the signing of protocols and operational agreements. Protocols are also entered into with associations that are experts on gender-based violence in various cultures and female genital mutilation in order to secure women of foreign origin and from other cultures.

Mapping is more than just putting places on a map, it means shaping and giving voice to the community in an inclusive way, taking into account the needs of all and all and bringing out the demands of underrepresented groups. The antiviolence centers’ map is a tool in the hands of those who need help and a way to start making concrete the vision we wish for the future of the next generation: a world without more gender violence!