Hacking Melanoma

Join us in Capri from October 20th to November 1st for Hacking Melanoma!

Hacking Melanoma will be a hackathon dedicated to the technological, social and relational aspects of e-health, and explicitly dedicated to the diagnosis and cure of Melanoma, skin cancer, one of the most frequent forms of cancer, but, also, a form of cancer which, if diagnosed in its early stages, can be cured with 100% success. This is why having the availability of early diagnosis solutions is of such vital importance.

During the hackathon, we will spend 3 days immersed in a deep brainstorming session: people with different skills, expertise, experiences and passions will interact to unveil innovative ideas.

3 thematic tables will be present: Medicine, Development and Communication. Each table will have its brief (linked above) to start thinking and acting.

A jury composed by Alex Giordano, Giovanni De Caro, Marco Mistretta, Salvatore Iaconesi, Oriana Persico and Arturo Di Corinto will participate to the evaluations of the ideas which will come as a result of the brief.

This is the link to the programhttp://www.i3-dermoscopy.it/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/programma.pdf

These are some Frequently Asked Questionshttp://www.i3-dermoscopy.it/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/FAQ.pdf

Look here to understand who is involved and which are the partners of the initiative: http://www.i3-dermoscopy.it/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/comunicato-stampa.pdf

Come to:

Centro Multimediale “Mario Cacace”

via G. Orlandi 100, Anacapri, Naples

La Cura at Dreamers Day in Milan

While we wait for the upcoming book, La Cura, the Open Source Cure for Cancer will be in Milan for the Dreamers Day, on October 18th 2015, together with two of its great inspirations: an oncologist who is also a hacker, Pier Mario Biava, and an enlightening personality of the theories of complexity, Ervin Laszlo.

At the Dreamers Day, we will have a talk and presentation about the story of La Cura, and about its most recent updates, which include the preparation of the upcoming book, and the peculiar structure we are giving it. It will be no ordinary publication, but, rather, the continuation of the performance of La Cura: the opportunity to take back disease into society, and to reclaim our humanity in the process, through technology, relationships, sciences and solidarity.

We will be more than happy in Milan, because we will get to be on stage together with two of our greater inspirations: Pier Mario Biava and Ervin Laszlo.

Pier Mario Biava is no ordinary oncologist. We call him the hacker of oncology, because in his research he tries to find ways in which cancer cells are not brutally destroyed but, rather, reprogrammed. This is a very interesting approach, as it simulates life, rather than death. In fact, his research aims at stimulating cells towards differentiation, just like it happens when we are born: first a bundle of indifferentiated cells grows and, then, a program (like a software) found in the epigenome causes them to differentiate, becoming the cells of our skin, liver, brain, etc, eventually arriving at building the whole body in all its different parts. Biava tries to cause the same effect in his cures, actually re-programming cancer cells into differentiation.

This approach has a series of very important things in common with La Cura.

Probably the most important of them is the fact that in this approach medicine becomes a complex entity, whose objective is not to simply apply some protocol to “bomb” cells and to treat some symptoms, but to perform complex interventions whose aim is to “restore meaning“, to create the conditions and the environment (acting on chemical, physiological, dietary, psychological, social and cultural levels) for the whole human being (including all of his/her interconnected components, from cells to social bonds) to re-program itself, with meaning and intention. As said, these interventions are as complex as imaginable, acting at micro-levels through factors which are able to stimulate cell reprogramming, at macro-levels, through dietary and social/psycological interventions, and through everything that there is in-between these two extremes. This has always positively shocked us for its affinity to what we did in La Cura: bringing out the disease from the hospital and back into society where the human being can, finally, be cured, through surgery and chemistry, and through solidarity, relationships, arts, creativity, and more, all part of the Cure. This is, for us, an important approach, with effects which are not merely scientific, but also political, social, cultural.

Together, Ervin Laszlo and Biava have presented the “Manifesto for the New Paradigm in Medicine“.

According to the Manifesto:

“In the light of new discoveries in the fields of physics, biology, epigenetic, neuroscience, psychology and psychosomatic, it is necessary for science, which so far has provided a fragmented picture of the world, bound by disciplinary aspects apparently unrelated, to look for a new paradigm. This paradigm has to unify the various disciplines, starting from what connects the physical universe to the living world, the living world to the social world, the social world to culture.
In this context it is important to consider the crucial role of consciousness in the knowledge of the world in relationship with information and in-formation.
Given the foregoing considerations, the diseases which affect the living systems have to be considered as an imbalance of information. To understand the causes and the nature of the different diseases we will continuously consider the two logics with which it is possible to decode the information, ie the sign and the symbolic logics.
3) Diseases have to be considered as an imbalance of information. In other words, diseases have to be identified as pathologies of information, that can be classified according to different types of disruption of information.
4) Disease is an event simultaneously individual and collective. It is individual when it is limited to an individual subject, but, given that all living beings are in a dynamic relationship with each other, the individual disease only reflects the reductive vision with which it is considered. So it would be more correct to define every disease as collective.”

Again data and information are not mere objects on which to run software and protocols, but they are a complex expression of life and, thus, their understanding and possibility to attribute shared meaning, constructed together are features which become immediately of political and philosophical importance.

This is an extraordinary intuition which, for us, is a wonderful way of expressing what we tried to achieve in La Cura: health is not a service, and we’re not customers. Health is within the possibility to create shared meaning of our life. Health is not in the hospital, or in technology, it’s in society and in the possibility to access information, and to attribute meaning to it, together, with our human relations and nature.

And for this, if you find yourself in Milan on October 18th come to the Dreamers Day to meet us, La Cura and Biava and Laszlo.

La Cura featured on TED.com, and some exciting news

La Cura, My Open Source Cure for Cancer, has been featured as La Cura as TED talk of the day. Go check it out!

It is a wonderful chance to announce that the book about La Cura is coming out soon, with amazing features.

La Cura on TED

La Cura on TED

The book, coming out soon after the summer, will come out in Italy first for an important publisher, and will soon be featured in multiple countries (note: we’re still looking for publishing agreements in other countries; if you’re a publisher/editor/agent outside of Italy contact us! We would love to hear from you!)

The book will take the form of a narrative (from my point of view, from Oriana’s, and from the thousands of points of view of those who have taken active part in La Cura), a conceptual analysis of La Cura, a design publication featuring many, many wonderful contributions to La Cura, and a toolkit (technological, methodological, legal, aesthetic) to enact actions like La Cura to promote participatory medicine practices and radical, inclusive collaboration processes in which the entire society takes participatory action in the well-being of their fellow human beings.

Keep you eyes open for this, contact us if you want to join in the action and, of course, look around and share, share, share.

The performance continues.

La Cura featured as TED Talk of the day

La Cura featured as TED Talk of the day

3 days in London with Human Ecosystems, La Cura and Ubiquitous Commons: report

From June 3rd to Jun 5th, a series of events organized by the Big Social Data Research Group at King’s College in collaboration with Citizen Biomedicin Research Group and the Open Data Institute,  engaged AOS in a workshop, a lecture and a public talk.

Below a report from the three events.

1. June 3rd: “Playing with data in the Ubiquitous Commons” – workshop

A one-day hands-on workshop hosted by the Big Social Data Research Group at King’s College.

Human Ecosystems Workshop - King's College, London

Human Ecosystems Workshop – King’s College, London

During the morning session we introduced and explored with participants a series of  key concepts, in particular:

  • the conceptual frame of the Human Ecosystems project, describing how multiple types of public data coming from social networks, sensors, open data sources, energy use, census and more can be captured, processed using multiple techniques (from Natural Language Processing, to Machine Learning, Network Analysis, Emotional Analysis and Geographic Analysis) to produce a set of large Data Commons, which can be used for multiple purposes including research, policy making, citizen action, collaboration, participatory and peer-to-peer organizational models, development of novel forms of economies, creation of services, artworks, designs, information visualizations, interactive experiences, digital toys, data-reactive devices and more;
  • the concept of the Relational Ecosystem, describing how these massive data capturing techniques can lead to forming large linked data patterns which, in turn, lead to the possibility to understand how communities form and transform over time and place, by understanding information, knowledge, opinion, emotion and behavior flows in cities. We also focused on the many characteristics of these human networks and of their participants, including their characterization as influencers, experts, hubs, bridges among different communities, and the ways in which to create new characterizations, using network science;
  • the many implications of these practices, at levels which are social, political, economic, exploring the resulting modifications of the factual and perceived concepts of public, private and intimate spheres, and the further transformations to citizens’ awareness and action which could be brought on by the availability of such a large Data Commons, and of the tools to use it, of the related education processes, of the information visualizations and on the participatory practices which could develop.
Human Ecosystems Workshop - King's College, London

Human Ecosystems Workshop – King’s College, London

Human Ecosystems Workshop - King's College, London

Human Ecosystems Workshop – King’s College, London

During the afternoon session:

  • a series of tools from the Human Ecosystems platform was installed, giving participants the possibility to autonomously start their own data harvesting processes;
  • a complete social network harvesting process for the city of London was started. The group watched the results using a variety of information visualizations which are present in the current HE toolkits (geographic, relational, networked, time-based, artistic, and more). We explored the principal steps which are required to create new ones (the structure of the data sources in the commons produced through Human Ecosystems, the many tools, libraries and Human Ecosystems API calls which can be used for this purpose).
  • we finally focused on some of the participants’ projects and activities to suggest ways in which the Human Ecosystems could be used in their cases, also establishing a number of possible partnerships and opportunities which need to be explored further.
Human Ecosystems Workshop - King's College, London

Human Ecosystems Workshop – King’s College, London

Human Ecosystems Workshop - King's College, London

Human Ecosystems Workshop – King’s College, London

Human Ecosystems Workshop, King's College: capturing London

Human Ecosystems Workshop, King’s College: capturing London

2. June 4th: “La Cura, an Open Source Cure for Cancer” – lecture and conversation

A 2 hours lecture hosted by the Citizen Biomedicine Research Group which involved us and the participant in deep and stimulating conversation exploring:

  • The unfolding of the facts and implications of “La Cura”, from the events which led to its beginning, its artistic elements, the metaphors of data as a connecting tissue for society, the biopolitical aspects of data and Big Data, the social interaction, collaboration and participation aspects of La Cura, the media and communication aspects of the project;
  • The rituals of hacking (understanding systems, generating knowledge, making knowledge available, provoke unexpected usages) and their implications on medicine;
  • The rituals of re-appropriation of data, an the consequent transition from data-subject to the holistic interpretation of human being, in which data becomes an opportunity for interconnection, interaction and participation of the entire society;
  • The role of arts, design, creativity and transgression, as radical innovators, as creators of new, unexpected spaces for social construction of conscience, as multipliers of perceived possible futures, and as tools to explore desirable, preferrable futures;
  • The comparison of “La Cura” to other experiences (like, for example, cancer bloggers, cancer and social networks) and services (like “Patients Like Me”).
La Cura: lecture at King's College Citizens  Biomedicine Research Group

La Cura: lecture at King’s College Citizens Biomedicine Research Group

Among the results, the conversation collaboratively described a tentative scenario in which experiences like “La Cura” and more encoded, industrialized ones like “Patients Like Me” could come together and co-exist according to an ecosystemic approach to suggest new scenarios for the collaborative and participative production of science, social and political actions, economies, activism, and peer-to-peer operative models.

3. 5th June: “Ubiquitous Commons” – public talk

Hosted by the ODI – Open Data Institute, the talk involved a very diverse audience, including hackers, lawyers, organizations, enterprises, developers, architects, urban planners, Internet of Things enthusiasts and experts.

Ubiquitous Commons talk at ODI - Open Data Institute (London)

Ubiquitous Commons talk at ODI – Open Data Institute (London)

During the discussion we:

  • Explored the scenario leading to the creation of the Ubiquitous Commons: conscious/unconscious ubiquitousproduction of data; impossibility to understand what data we generate, and how it is used; impossibility to express ho we want our data to be used; impossibility to track how our data is used; impossibility to autonomously or collaboratively enact individual or participatory practices for data generation and usage, in inclusive ways;
  • Explored the Ubiquitous Commons architecture: externalize data access mechanism from operators (social networks, IoT, domotics, biotech, wearables…) onto a peer-to-peer environment (Blockchain), using encryption and a legal/technological protocol;
  • Explored the possibility to create data commons using the Ubiquitous Commons identity model (individual, collective, anonymous, nomadic and temporary types of identity);
  • Explored the legal, political, social, economic, creative implications of the model.
  • Discussed possible usage scenarios and novel economic models.
  • Discussed technical/technological implications;
  • Expressed a call to action for interested parties to join the initiative (legal, technical/technological, use cases, adoption communties).
Ubiquitous Commons talk at ODI - Open Data Institute (London)

Ubiquitous Commons talk at ODI – Open Data Institute (London)

Ubiquitous Commons talk at ODI - Open Data Institute (London)

Ubiquitous Commons talk at ODI – Open Data Institute (London)

Special thanks to Mark Coté, Tobias Blanke, Barbara Prainsack, Lorenzo Del Savio, Jennifer, Giles Greenway for the wonderful hospitality and to make all of it happen. 

An Open Source Cure for Cancer at King’s College in London

Join us at King’s College Department for Social Science Health and Medicine with the Bioethics and Society programme for a conversation on:

“The Cure”, an Open Source Cure for Cancer: a conversation with Oriana Persico and Salvatore Iaconesi

The network “Citizen Participation in Science and Medicine” is pleased to announce that Oriana Persico and Salvatore Iaconesi will be at SSHM on June 4th, 2015  to discus their project “La Cura” (The Cure), an Open Source Cure for Cancer: Hacking Participatory Medicine and the Biopolitics of Data.

When: June 4, 2015, 2-4 pm

Where: Room S -3.18, KCL Strand Campus.

When Salvatore Iaconesi was diagnosed with a brain cancer, he hacked his medical records and opened them up, transforming his disease into a participatory, collaborative performance. In the discussion, we will confront with the biopolitical implications of participatory medicine, and of the rituals of ethical hacking, as critical opportunities to reconsider the role of communities and societies in positive, constructive, inclusive ways.

Please register here (feel free to use this link if you want to invite others):


For more information about “La Cura”, click here. You can also watch Salvatore’s Ted talk here.

For inquiries contact Dr Lorenzo Del Savio: lorenzo.del_savio@kcl.ac.uk