// Which are the challenges of the future?
// Who decides how to address them?
// How can solutions arise?
>>> Public participation in the decision making has a crucial importance. The premise of this entry is that in order to formulate what will be regarded as the challenges of the future we need to consult the people. We need to increase public participation in the everyday life and at all levels.
Our response for this call is to enhance opportunities for public participation creating an atmosphere for that to happen. This proposal, From talks to action - a framework for community participation, is composed by two features: the “iCan > < uCan” and the “weStand”, together with a preliminary discussion outline for public and private talks. We believe that this operation could instigate public debate and lead to action plans and eventually new policies.

The iCan > < uCan
is a communication device - a 30 meters long tin can telephone with a gps attached - to play a communication game. These devices would be placed in a public space for people to play the communication game and leave them where they were found or take them to another location. They will be tracked through the gps and their movements will be followed online on an associated website.

The weStand
is a wooden platform -40cm high that splits in two pieces, one the speakers’ tribune and the other a mini auditorium seed – for people to spontaneously gather to debate. It will be placed in a central area of the city, where pedestrian traffic is constant. It will have attached a 3 m diameter balloon 20 m high that will call the attention from many different areas in the city and a camera and microphone to record the public talks which will be visible in real-time on a website. The data will be useful to collect direct feedback from the population on issues that are on debate at a specific moment in a specific place.

A preliminary outline with topics for discussion as Climate change, Waste management, Infrastructure, Public space, Environment, Immigration will trigger the debates. This installation will be placed in an armature of the city. In Oslo it will be along the Akerselva River, linking Maridalsvannet lake and the Oslo Fjord. 20 “iCan > < uCan”s will be placed along the river edges every 450 m, starting at the lake and ending at Vaterlandpark where the “weStand” would conclude the journey.

Total budget: €9740 (20x “iCanuCan”s €3870; 1 x “weStand” €4370; IT costs €1500).
Concept by Cecilia Benites and Jula-Kim Sieber