We sat down with Sara Arango Franco, team member and one of the primary facilitators and designers of our new data analysis workshops to talk about the motivations behind the program and how it’s gone so far.
“Decoding” is a series of data workshops for those both interested and with experience in data analysis and visualization. The objective is to gain experience analyzing the open data that is gathered on citizens and the security of the city through what we could call surveillance efforts. Our aim is to create a space to develop skill sets that allow participants to respond to security questions that have the potential to develop into policy or public initiatives.
The difference with We are Recording You is that the Decoding workshops are directed specifically towards a population with skills in data analysis and are meant to be hands-on from the beginning. If you observe the schedule of both workshops, you’ll see that We are Recording You had many more guest speakers and more time dedicated to discussion of topics related to security and surveillance. We think that both programs compliment one another quite well. In fact, one of the participants of We are Recording You attended the first few sessions of Decoding (although she had to stop because she started a new job).
Participants meet for 8 weeks. In week 9, they will present the results of their research to an audience within our Edgelands network: decisionmakers, academics, and others who are relevant to the discussion.
A typical session consists of:
Our six workgroups are investigating the following questions:
All the research projects were pitched by the project supporters mentioned. These projects are based on long-standing issues in the city. It’s our hope that the outcome of these research projects can offer our project supporters a space or a buffer (as these public-facing organizations - along with many others - rarely have the time to explore such questions as they are always attending to urgent issues) to resolve these types of innovative questions and also accelerate their own internal processes with how they engage with the public. The work that SISC does is directly related to public policy, as they are part of the Secretariat of Security. Casa de las Estrategias is one of the most important actors in the city, via the focus of a think-do-tank.
One can do so with the understanding that there’s not just one unique code and that data is always a limited representation of reality (but not to rule it out, for this reason either!). The true decoding comes when someone understands the process through which data and numbers end up being representations and can interpret them.
The huge interest that we received from all those who applied although the time commitment is demanding — almost as long as an entire academic semester!
The final session will consist of the workgroups presenting the results of their research to the project supporters, guest speakers, and others within the Edgelands network. We plan to publish the results of this research on our website and social media and ensure that this research has the biggest impact possible. Throughout all this, the more new alliances and projects that can come from our work in these workshops, the better!
As part of the Edgelands x Magnum project, I had to research about the rights we have to access information about the CCTV recordings of cameras in public spaces in Geneva, including who owns the cameras, where are the recordings stored, and how could I access the recording where I appear.
It is time for Cúcuta! After successfully applying We are recording you labs to Medellín and Geneva, we are excited to announce that it is time to bring the discussion to a new city.
Join us at the Open Innovation Festival to participate in “Dropping the Pin” and “Edgelands Maps,” and take part in the ongoing conversation about the digitalization of security and the way we live together as a society !