Liberating Voices

Patterns for Civic Empowerment. Overview

For the last seven years, the public sphere project has been developing the Liberating Voices pattern language, which aims to help people think about, design, develop, manage and use information and communication systems that more fully meet human needs now and in the future. Each pattern in this language, when complete, will represent an important insight that will help contribute to a communication revolution.

A book that contains the first version of the Liberating Voices pattern language is now available from MIT Press.[1]

This project is relevant to IKM because of its relation to social development as a theme, because it is an example of trying to order information from multiple sources in a useful form (the work area of Working Group 2), and as an example of a highly iterative, multiple-actor process which over many years succeeded through long distance web internet enabled interaction in producing a significant output.

A joint workshop of the Pattern Language Network, the Public Sphere Project, and PRADSA network

Date: 17th March, 2009 Location: London Knowledge Lab Registration: this page:

To celebrate the release of this book, we will be running a pattern workshop on the theme of civic empowerment and social action. This workshop will follow the methodology developed by the Planet project, and refined through a long series of events.

This workshop will bring together social and technology activists to explore the opportunities and challenges that participatory media bring to social action and civic empowerment. It will provide participants an invaluable opportunity to share their experiences and collaboratively reflect on them, highlighting common problems and possible solutions.


  • 09:45 Coffee
  • 10:15 Introductions and Overview of the workshop activities
  • 11:15 Group work on case stories
  • 12:30 Lunch
  • 13:30 Plenary Presentation: Douglas Schuler - the Liberating voices pattern language
  • 14:30 Group work on patterns
  • 15:30 Pattern presentations
  • 16:00 Reflections and conclusions
  • 16:45 Goodbye

Book Launch: Liberating Voices! A Pattern Language for Communication Revolution