Building a European Cultural Backbone

Labs & Conference

conference logo

Date: May 23 – 28, 2022


Labs & Workshops: May 23 – 26 at Stadtwerkstatt, 1st floor, Kirchengasse 4, 4040 Linz (Map) Conference: May 27 & 28 at Wissensturm Linz, 15th floor, Kärtnerstraße 26, 4020 Linz (Map)

A significant part of public opinion formation takes place today on a few commercial online platforms, whereby the conditions and forms of free expression are made dependent solely on a market-based logic and on the commercial business models of the platform operators.

Since no real democratic discourse can take place under such conditions, it is necessary to create independent, not-for-profit infrastructures and democratic media spaces (“Public Open Spaces”) that enable and promote public debates and opinion-forming under conditions geared to the common good.

Invitation and Open Call

Thus we invite to a series of events in Linz, Austria to explore and expand technology for community based exchange and publication. With collaborative hacking projects we want to push forward a common base for a European Cultural Backbone for community media and their surrounding media spheres. The unconference-style event will feature sessions, workshops and co-creation labs.

Topics of discussion will include:

  • Metadata modeling for community media exchange: What are the pros and cons of existing formats and standards? Which technologies and protocols exist, and how do they fit into a media exchange network? What does a common data model for community media look like?
  • Using wikidata as a rich source for metadata terms
  • Federated and decentralized recommender systems: Technologies, privacy implications
  • Search & personalisation: What could search algorithms oriented towards the common good look like? Which approaches to follow and technologies to use?
  • European Public: What are international communication needs and in which ways could a European public be reached? How to deal with multilingualism and what are perspectives for automatic translations?
  • Dezentralized authorization and authentication: Alternatives to data tracking, federation or crypto keys, …

Please feel free to propose sessions or workshops!

We also want to open a collective brainstorming area to develop new ideas on how a public sphere for community media can look like in practice. How do we envision future interfaces for media consumption and production? Are the user experience (UX) standards established by the major platforms and existing media libraries the target we aim for? How can more artistic forms of expression find a fitting place in the internet?

The event is targetted towards developers, designers, activists and media makers. If you bring in previous experiences, projects or ideas, feel very free to tell us in advance.

If you are actively working on these topics or want to contribute, feel invited to reach out – in the days before the hackathon we’re having a few days of more focused discussion on how to advance Open Audio Search into a federated system.

A project by cba, Radio FRO & arso.Kindly supported by European Cultural Foundation, Kulturamt, Open Commons und Volkshochschule / Stadt Linz,, Shared Digital European Public Spaces (SDEPS) and Verband Freier Rundfunk Österreich.