Radical Protocols: Designing Democratic Digital Tools in Social Movements

This paper will discuss research involving directly democratic and radical social movements throughout the US, EU, and MENA region, especially the “movements of the squares”. These movements developed an array of their own digital tools such as mesh networks and decision making platforms, to serve their communication and deliberation needs, to overcome surveillance and blocking, and to enact their politics of inclusion.

Jessica Feldman is an Assistant Professor / Enseignante Chercheuse in the Department of Global Communications at the American University of Paris, where she also co-directs the Civic Media Lab. Her recent research studies the ways in which democratic values are (or are not) inscribed in the design of emerging networked communication technologies, through values-in-design analyses and ethnographic fieldwork with social movements. She also works on the politics and psychology of listening and is developing a secondary research project on emotion detection in the voice by AI assistants and companions.

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