Lab 4 – Citizens’ Engagement
8 November 2022, 9.00-11.00 - Room 8 – Palais de l’Europe
sponsored by the Grand Est Region
The citizens are the key when it comes to improving public institutions, making them accountable, more transparent, and therefore more effective in providing innovative solutions to the ever-growing problems. Citizens' engagement has proven to be especially important during times of crises such as pandemics, natural disasters, etc.
Can the citizens enable real-time course correction in quickly changing circumstances? How did different communities encourage more citizens' engagement, and can these practices be transferred and implemented elsewhere?
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Sarv-anumati: 100% consent based decision - The Blue Ribbon Movement
The Blue Ribbon Movement is a registered charitable trust in India in operation since 2010. Its field of activities includes civic, youth leadership, deep democracy and peace building.
Community Connect aims to build active citizenship though participatory democracy in Mumbai. Its goals include amplifying citizen voice, civic problem solving, holding the administration accountable, building resilient local community, and improving the quality of life in the city through deep volunteers and citizen-led action.
At the heart of this initiative is the alumni movement sarvanumati (100% consent of all) which takes the decisions. It initiates, manages and operationalises all the activities.
Founder of The Blue Ribbon Movement
Abhishek Thakore is the founder of several social initiatives including the Blue Ribbon Movement and the South Asian Youth Conference. He is actively building a national socio-political movement based on pluralism and non-violence. Over the last two decades his work has been across the ideological spectrum as well as between business and NGOs. He has participated in United Nation's Rio+20 process on behalf of global youth. His interests lie in eastern thought, psychology, spirituality, deep democracy, philosophy and politics.
LevizAlbania – LevizAlbania
LevizAlbania is a project of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC implemented by a Consortium of three Albanian organizations, Open Society Foundation Albania, Partners Albania and Co-PLAN. The project is implemented through “Qendra LevizAlbania”, a formally constituted organization based in Tirana. Shrinking civic space has been a global trend also taking shape in Albania and further accentuated the last few years. Different developments have been raising red flags for continuous and steady decline in quality of democracy. This democratization relapse manifests through diminished citizens’ engagement and participation in decision-making, public consultations, a non-enabling environment for civil society and different setbacks on individual freedoms and rights. Acting from the demand side of local governance to promote democratic values has become an even more fundamental issue. LevizAlbania has contributed to strengthening local democracy in Albania by empowering different civil society actors to request, act, and proactively make proposals that encourage local governments to respond for the benefit of their citizens.
Monitoring, Evaluation and Civil Society Manager, LevizAlbania
Anahi is the Monitoring, Evaluation and Civils Society Manager at LevizAlbania. She holds a Master in Public Administration (International Development) from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a BSc in Economics from the Centre for Research and Teaching of Economics. She is specialized in development policy analysis, planning, monitoring and evaluation of projects and programs and has several years of experience working with and for civil society, the public sector, and the academia in Mexico, the UK, Albania and Kosovo.
The professional citizen media Madha Yahduth (What's going on?) - Tunisian Citizen Journalism Association
The Tunisian Citizen Journalism Association (ATJC) is an association that works for the development and dissemination of citizen journalism in Tunisia, by disseminating its culture and the ethics of its practice, and by training the activists of this system. “Madha-yahduth?" (ماذا يحدث؟) is the first professional citizen media in Tunisia, Africa and the Arab world. The information is co-created with citizen journalists: coming from the heart of the event, the information is proposed by a citizen and verified by a journalist, in a 100% participatory and collaborative logic. This also allows citizens to contribute to discussions on public affairs in order to ensure the transparency of public action and encourage dialogue with political and economic decision-makers. The association is committed to fighting against the spread of fake news, thanks to the contribution of recognised experts in political, economic and social affairs that have aroused public opinion.
Senior Strategy advisor to governments and Co-founder of "Madha Yahduth?” (What's going on?)
Nabil Felah is co-founder of "Madha Yahduth?" (What's going on?) and the CEO of “Sens Critic Strategic Circle”. An experienced senior advisor to governments, he offers independent strategic advice to enable nations and institutions to have the best approach to decision-making in crisis situations. Nabil has 35 years of international experience with a career in EU missions, in political advisory and leadership roles and the conduct of state reform. He led fifty conferences and written twenty reports on government policy models. Nabil brings a unique combination of global experience to decision-making communities. Today, he chairs the most important Tunisian associations in the world: "TunisianTalentsUnited.org" and he is also the strategic advisor of "TunisiePassion.org" and the Tunisian Association of Citizen Journalism.
Re-Imagining the Building Blocks of Democracy – The Democracy and Culture Foundation
In 2022, the Democracy & Culture Foundation (DCF) launched an international three-year project aiming to produce specific recommendations on how to make democracies more resilient, to stress-test the proposals using the tools of deliberative democracy and then press decision makers for their implementation. The mission is to initiate a global exchange on the urgent ideas that can help democracy evolve and to establish a global center of democracy that will continue this work in the long term.
This project will provide valid indications of the importance of involving citizens in deliberative democracy processes. It will also provide an indication of how citizens outside Europe view the tools of deliberative democracy.
Vice-Chair, Economist and Co-Author of Mckinsey Strategy Plan
Anthony Kefalas is a British (LSE) and USA (WSU) educated doctoral economist. He has served as senior researcher at KEPE, as adviser to the ministers of economics and industry and to the president of OAE, as director of SELPE and ESIP, as editor of the bi-monthly “Agora”, as contributor to major Greek newspapers and periodicals (especially for “Oikonomikos Tachydromos”, Express, Proto Thema etc.)-- in Greece as well as abroad (Newsweek, IHT)-- as an economic adviser to the NBG and the Federation of Greek Industries (SEB) and as adviser to numerous well-known Greek and non-Greek companies—including Delta/Vivartia, Citibank, McDonald’s, Hoechtief, Orelikon etc. He has taught economics at Queen’s College (in London), at WSU and the Un. of Oakland (in the USA) and at the Un. of Maryland (European Campus) and Pierce-Deree (in Greece).
He has published more than 1500 articles on the Greek economy and is the author of four books. His latest book “Aspects of Industrialization: Greece 1945-2010” was published in July by the Sideris Editions and reflects his strong interest in economic policy as well as in the history of Greek enterprises (past and present) and has been given as a textbook at the Economic University of Athens.
President of the Democracy & Culture Foundation
Achilles Tsaltas is president of the Democracy & Culture Foundation an independent, nonprofit organization. Born in Australia of Greek origin, he started his media career in 1989 in the advertising department at News Corporation. During his tenure, he launched the business magazine Business Asia, and relaunched the paper’s The Australian Magazine. He moved to Hong Kong in 1999 to join The International Herald Tribune as deputy managing director and in 2004, he moved to Paris as vice president, international circulation and served in a number of executive roles in his two decades of service with The New York Times Company, ultimately relocating to London to become vice president, international conferences in 2014. In 2019, Mr. Tsaltas established the Democracy & Culture Foundation. With a mission to empower society through citizen engagement and better governance, the Foundation develops, programs and convenes the two conferences he conceived at The Times – the Athens Democracy Forum and Art for Tomorrow.
Discussants are invited to take part in the Labs in order to share their experience with the presented democratic initiatives and try to bring broader perspectives to the following discussions.
- Labs 2022
- Lab 1 – Youth Participation
- Lab 2 – Civic Education
- Lab 3 – History, Awareness and the Power of narrative
- Lab 4 – Citizens’ Engagement
- Lab 5 – E-democracy
- Lab 6 – Social Inclusion
- Lab 7 – Polarisation and Democratic Engagement
- Lab 8 – Elections
- Lab 9 – Protection of Activists and Human Rights’ Defenders
- Lab 10 - Fighting disinformation and the power of social media