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

What If Participation Was More Like A Game? 

If you’ve recently spent time on Duolingo, claimed airmiles or downloaded an exercise app like Zombies, Run!, you’re familiar with the basic elements of gamification. Commercial enterprises have used features that we typically associate with games – goals and challenges, point scoring, personalisation and rapid, visible feedback for decades to increase consumer engagement. But what […]

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From Clicktivism to Hacktivism

New technologies provide a range of different participation levels that may favour a broadening, rather than a deepening of engagement. Yet this, according to Dr. Bas Baccarne, senior researcher at imec-MICT-Ghent University, is not necessarily a bad thing.

Read more – Enabling Successful Petitions at the Local Level

On, citizens can introduce, debate and vote on petitions that will be brought to the table with the respective local governing body once the citizen has received the required support.

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What Makes Participatory Budgeting Work in Rybnik?

DT: What motivated you to start Participatory Budgeting in Rybnik? Piotr Kuczera: Participatory Budgeting in Rybnik started in 2013. But the initial idea came in 2009-2010 when a local NGO – the Social Initiatives Development Centre (CRIS) – implemented an innovative citizen participation project aimed at two very different districts of Rybnik. The goal of […]

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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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Dominik Hierlemann

EU Citizen Participation — What needs to change?

Democracy Technologies: The Bertelsmann Stiftung published an extensive study last year, 2022, calling for an EU framework for citizen participation. What was the inspiration for this study? Dominik Hierlemann: New forms of citizen participation have become a hot topic with interesting developments all over Europe. We have been involved in the field for quite some […]

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Building a Resilient Community in Valongo

The Portuguese city Valongo has developed a programme called 'Switch to Innovation' that fosters citizen engagement and creates a cohesive community through the use of technology.

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Ghent participation projects

Lessons from Ghent

The city of Ghent in Belgium has a long history of citizen participation and have found that there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to participation.

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The team behind the global democracy initiative.

Democracy Without Borders

As part of its campaign to promote global democracy and a UN Parliamentary Assembly, Berlin-based Democracy Without Borders is developing a platform to simulate what that might look like, and encouraging everyone to give it a go.

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Latvia, the Land of Successful Petitions

ManaBalss has been giving Latvian citizens a voice in their parliament for over 10 years now. As one of the digital democracy finalists in the Innovation in Politics Awards, we wanted to learn more about the secret of its success.

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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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Subway station in Kyiv serves as raid shelter

Finding Shelter, Voting on Petitions and More – The Kyiv Digital App

In 2018, city leaders agreed on an ambitious plan to digitise Kyiv. A twenty-one-point transformation plan was created, including everything from cyber security to big data. The Kyiv Digital app was part of this broader push to digitise, aimed specifically at increasing accessibility for citizens. To date, the app has over 2 million downloads out […]

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By the Youth, for the Youth – Barcelona’s Democracy Experiment

Barcelona has a dedicated citizen’s assembly and has had a specialist team within the city council, Active Democracy (Democracia Activ), for the last 8 years. Democracy Technologies spoke with two members of this team – Orlando Blasco Aleu and Inma Rodriguez Sanchez. Both of whom were involved in the youth participation process, Barcelona Youth Forum.  […]

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Casting the Net Wider: Urban Planning in Vienna

“They have to get rid of the cars.” For one passerby in Vienna’s Gumpendorfer Straße, interviewed on local TV station WTV, the key to solving the street’s problems is clear. Lined with cafés, bars, cinemas, and shops, Gumpendorfer Straße cuts a jagged course east to west through the lively sixth district, an area known for […]

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Michael Mascioni

Bringing Private Sector Innovations to Government

Michael Mascioni recently published his book "Reinventing Government Through Political Entrepreneurship and Exponential Innovation". He talked to us about how innovation strategies and tools could be adapted from the private sector to the public sector, why he uses the term crowdsourcing rather than participation, and about gamification in government.

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