Computer Science

CS Colloquium Speaker: Dr. Valerie Issarny from INRIA

Professor Valerie Issarny from INRIA

When: January 28th, 2016 at 3:10pm
Where: 1131 Kemper Hall

Title: Engineering Software Assemblies for Participatory Democracy: The Participatory Budgeting Use Case Valerie Issarny, Inria

Joint work with Prof James Holston (UC Berkeley) and Cristhian Parra (Inria & UC Berkeley)

– Abstract:
The worldwide use of the Internet and social networking has transformed the constraints of time and space in human interaction: we can now be heard at a massive scale unprecedented in human history. As a result, ICT may enable citizens to undertake both government through direct assembly and collective action at a scale and an efficacy previously considered impossible. Our research concerns this opportunity to leverage a new sort of political life. We focus specifically on how software systems may enable participatory democracy, that is, the participation of citizens in democratic assembly, action, and governance. As an initial step, we have developed a service-oriented software platform, called AppCivist-PB, focused on a specific, yet representative use case of participatory democracy, namely, Participatory Budgeting (PB for short). PB is an allocation process used in many cities around the world through which they commit a percentage of their annual budget (often 5%) to implement citizen-proposed projects. In PB, residents of a city (or a higher level territorial organization), brainstorm, develop, and select project proposals that local government institutions are required to fund and implement. The key contribution of AppCivist-PB is to enable the cohesive creation of both citizen and software assemblies that together implement a given participatory budgeting campaign.

– Bio:
Dr. Valérie Issarny ( holds a Directrice de recherche position at Inria (, the French institute for research in Information and Communication Science and Technologies, where she led the ARLES research team until 2013, investigating distributed software systems leveraging wirelessly networked devices, with a special emphasis on service-oriented computing. Since summer 2013, she is the scientific coordinator of the Inria@SiliconValley program ( promoting and fostering collaboration between Inria and California Universities. She is also coordinating the Inria CityLab program ( dedicated to smart cities and promoting citizen engagement; the program is developed in collaboration with CITRIS at University of California Berkeley and targets urban-scale experiment in Paris and California cities. Ongoing projects include UrbanCivics ( on urban pollution monitoring through participatory sensing and crowd sourcing, and AppCivist ( on a middleware platform for democratic assembly and collective action.

1131 Kemper Hall

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