Letter of welcome from the new General Secretary

Barcelona January 4th 2016

Dear friends

Since June 2015 I have been the Barcelona City Councillor for Participation and Districts, at the heart of the government for change led by the Mayor, Ada Colau. As part of my duties I am also the Secretary-General of the International Observatory on Participatory Democracy (IOPD) and I would like to assure we will maintain and strengthen our commitment to boosting international cooperation in participatory democracy, transparency and governments moving towards the joint production of public policy.

The municipal government is strongly committed to public participation, transparency and the social inclusion of all the city's sectors. The very people leading the new city government were a confluence of political and public players from social movements and struggles bearing the hallmark of association work and participatory democracy. Hence our aim to innovate in way we govern, by involving every citizen and making use of the collective intelligence of all the city's inhabitants. The political and social context we find ourselves in, in the cycle of the Arab spring, the 15M anti-austerity movement and the Occupy movements, force us to rethink the way we govern, so we can achieve working methods with more democratic quality, by including the voice of the people in them.

Besides the political will of our municipal government, I would like to highlight my own personal commitment to this project, the result of my career which has been linked to the local residents' movement, to defending our rights and freedoms on the Internet and to implementing techno-political and democratic practices online. Hence our aim to boost participatory democracy not just in Barcelona but on an international level too, through the IOPD.

I shall be delighted to provide you with further information and I look forward to meeting you in person at the various international meetings the IOPD coordinates and takes part in, so we can share experiences and exchange points of view on democracy in our cities.

Yours sincerely

Gala Pin

General-Secretary of the IOPD

Councillor for Participation and Districts

Barcelona City Council