by Innovation in Politics Institute
News and everything you need to know on digital democracy, online participation and e-voting
Angela Müller of Algorithm Watch

Loopholes in European AI Regulation

Algorithm Watch is part of a broad coalition of civil society actors who have signed an open letter asking policymakers not to leave big loopholes in the Council of Europe's Convention on AI. We talked to Angela Müller about the Convention, as well as the EU’s recent AI Act.

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Dominik Hierlemann

“Citizens’ Assemblies Shouldn’t Happen in a Vacuum”

How should our society best handle disinformation? In late January, the Bertelsmann Stiftung launched a citizens’ assembly with partners such as the German Ministry of the Interior to grapple with this question. Dominik Hierlemann of the Bertelsmann Stiftung discusses the project.

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Black and white portrait photo of civic tech expert Raphael Pouyé on orange and teal background

“Civic Tech From the Global South Is Less Naive About the Benevolence of Governments”

We have often discussed civic tech in the narrow context of European projects in participatory democracy. But as Raphael Pouyé, democracy support and participatory governance expert, points out, we can learn a lot from how countries beyond Europe work with civic tech.

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Black and white headshots of Sven Lohmeyer and Pascal Fuhr, experts in participation in city planning, on a blue and red geometrical background

Visions for the Future of Participation in City Planning

Participation in city planning can help to generate acceptance, especially if it builds on the collaboration of all relevant players. We talked to Sven Lohmeyer, a specialist in co-creative city planning at Urbanista, and Pascal Fuhr, Co-founder of the map-based participation tool Senf app about their experiences and visions for participatory city planning.

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Part of a Larger Transformation: The Consul Democracy Foundation

Founded in 2019, the Consul Democracy Foundation promotes the improvement of participative democracy worldwide using the open source digital platform Consul Democracy.

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Tomáš Rákos. In the background a pattern with the words: project management, events, training, facilitation, unlock your city.

Learn To Lead Citizen Participation With New “Participate Practically” Course

Democracy Technologies is delighted to announce the launch of Participate Practically, an online course designed to help you plan, launch, administer and evaluate participation projects. The course is a collaboration between Democracy Technologies and our longstanding partners at Participation Factory. To mark the occasion, we sat down for a chat with their CEO Tomáš Rákos.

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Can Citizens Influence Europarty Manifestos?

As the 2024 EU election campaigns loom, the question arises: How can ordinary citizens play a more active role in shaping the activities of Europarties? To shed light on this vital issue, we spoke to Alberto Alemanno, founder of The Good Lobby.

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Growing A Culture of Participation in Luxembourg

When Luxembourg set out to simplify its administrative procedures, the country’s Ministry for Digitalisation launched an online platform to allow citizens to get involved. We spoke to Martine Kerschen and Paula Almeida from the Ministry for Digitalisation about the platform.

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Gianluca Sgueo

Participation Needs Better Storytelling 

Participative processes are often depicted as a quick and easy way of achieving political change. This makes them attractive to the public – but it can lead to frustration when results don't follow immediately. Gianluca Sgueo argues that citizens' participation needs to develop a new kind of storytelling that acknowledges the complexity of political processes.

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Learning By Doing: A School of Participation is Being Launched in Germany

Interview | The School of Participation will teach theory and practice of participation using a hands-on approach. Its first academic year is due to commence in October 2024. We spoke to two of the school’s founders.

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“We Want More and Better Participation”

Interview | In Germany, a new professional association for citizen participation is being founded. Starting with a membership of around 400 people working in the field, they want to set quality standards for participation and influence government to change its mindset on participation.

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Don’t Use Deliberative Democracy to Distract From Regulation

The idea that AI regulation should be shaped by a global citizens' assembly seems to be gaining in popularity. But when tech companies themselves are behind these deliberative processes, it can end up looking less like a credible effort to democratise, and more like a distraction from the effort to regulate quickly.

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Johanna Laukkanen

One Third of Eligible Youth Participates in Helsinki Youth Budget

Interview | The Helsinki Youth Budget allows young people in Helsinki to have a say in how the city's money is spent and also to take part in the implementation of projects. We spoke to Johanna Laukkanen, Interaction Specialist at the City of Helsinki about the project.

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Marina Weisband

From Consumer to Creator: Experiencing Digital Democracy in Schools

Democracy Technologies: With the aula project, you implement digital participation projects at schools. What is the motivation behind doing this digitally? Marina Weisband: I would say that the digital app is a means to an end – that as many students as possible get involved. For that, digital tools are useful on several levels. Firstly, […]

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Scan a QR-Code and Participate – The Story of PLACEm

Interview | PLACEm, an easy-to-use, location-based participation app is a finalist in the Innovation in Politics Awards in the category of Democracy Technologies. Gregor Dehmel co-founded Politik zum Anfassen, which published PLACEm. We talked to him about his experiences in the project, from hiring developers to bringing the app to the users.

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