Security is an essential component of life in society. Our research goal is to assess how surveillance technologies deployed in cities are altering the power balance in our societies, and how different groups understand and perceive this transformation.

The outcome of our work will be to imagine the terms of new social contracts that work for cities and peoples in the age of pandemics and digital surveillance. That is, the rules, best practices and values that should be centered to foster confidence in our societies as these technologies are deployed and adopted.

Our method will be interdisciplinary: We will partner with local actors, research and do institutions, and artists and makers to conduct research on the status of surveillance technologies in their cities, conduct on site-extensive interviews, facilitate direct participation exercises, and host cultural projects. The aim will be to raise awareness about the risks and opportunities of digital technologies and reveal shared beliefs.

Our output will be capacity-building materials and spaces to help communities and stakeholders reshape their urban social contracts. These will include research documents, emergent surveys, policy recommendations for different scenarios in their own policy-making processes, facilitating workshops, participation in international events and hosting cultural and educational events in the cities where we will work.