LleialTEC is a project that aims to raise people's awareness about the importance of technological sovereignty by implementing infrastructures that enable civic management facilities to take control of their data and networks. All these procedures are being documented by the "Free Facilities" project, whose aim is to share the knowledge acquired with any other entity interested in joining this new way of management.
Barcelona has a long tradition of participation and self-management, going back to late 19th-century educational associations and cooperatives. However, in the last decade, many residents have become active stakeholders in creating a different kind of city, such as requesting spaces for launching community projects and the resources they need for managing them. Lleialtat Santsenca is an example, a civic-management facility requested by citizens in August 2017.
Among many other community activities, Lleialtat Santsenca is fostering the digital empowerment of residents, groups and associations. LleialtTec’s main aim is to bring the principles of community action to the field of technology and use free, ethical tools for managing it and developing communications, content creation and data storage.
LleialTEC is a step forward from “who” is undertaking the management to “how” tools are used. That is why Lleialtat aims to become a testing ground that can be used as a benchmark for all city organisations and facilities that are considering the recuperation of their technological sovereignty and which have common needs, such as publishing their activities, enrolment, the reservation of rooms and invoicing, which is the case for most city facilities. All this knowledge will be documented by the "Free Facilities" project which aims for everything to be open, scalable and replicable.
Some of the infrastructures implemented are related to democratic organisation, such as Àgora, a forum that serves as a permanent online assembly, and Núvol (which means cloud in Catalan), where the data is stored. Both are free and open-source software. Access to Àgora and Núvol depends on how residents are taking part in Lleialtat's management. All members have access to Núvol documents for reading; and anyone who belongs to one or more committees can also access documents for online reading and editing. These two tools cover the basic needs of any assembly organisation while also guaranteeing good transparency practices. In addition to these tools, free and open-source operating systems have also been installed in Lleialtat's computers and WiFi has been installed, with re-used access points that have been revamped with free micro-software, to foster recycling and a sustainable digital economy, and an IT classroom has also been set up, managed with free maintenance techniques.
These are some of the first steps, but there is still a lot of work to be done, including: creating comprehensive management software for the facility, for the administration of members, room reservations, activity invoicing and inventory monitoring; installing and configuring firewalls; implementing the Guifi.net network infrastructure; configuring SAI [IT assistance], and acquiring, installing and configuring an infrastructure for services that strengthen the facility’s technological sovereignty.
Case study date: July 2018