The incubator for participatory democracy is based on an alliance of democracy innovators, brought together by the Council of Europe at the World Forum for Democracy. Its purpose is to connect city governments in Europe and beyond with democracy innovators to replicate and scale up democratic innovations. The incubator supports initiatives - digital and offline - that contribute to the redistribution of political power towards citizens, and that support the broadest possible citizen participation in the cities’ decision-making procedures. The incubator builds an open infrastructure to boost democracy for inclusive and innovative cities.

As part of the World Forum for Democracy 2015, the Council of Europe organised a hackathon for the creation of a participatory democracy incubator, assembling experts on democracy innovation and political decision-makers. It gathered 30 experts, researchers, elected representatives from cities, social and democratic innovators, grassroots activists and civil servants. During the collaborative workshop, participants were invited to think of the best ways to support the development of transparent, participative and collaborative democracy.


Incubator objectives

The incubator should help civil servants and political decision-makers in cities build an open infrastructure to boost democracy for smart, inclusive and innovative cities. It should be strongly goal-oriented. It has four main objectives:

  • Creating an active community of democratic innovators in Europe;
  • Building bridges between cities and project leaders of concrete solutions for open democracy; the incubator working as a “democracy dating service”, matching up cities and democracy innovation projects;
  • Bringing support to cities, civic start-ups and non-profits to create, replicate, connect and scale up democratic projects;
  • Creating open knowledge on the challenges, solutions and key factors for success for open democracy. It should work as a trusted international voice on the benefits of participation, arousing commitment from political leaders and institutions.

Participation Index for Cities (questionnaire) >>

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