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Co-creating democracy: citizen participation in the 21st Century

Spring 2011, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. 

The challenge

2011 was a year of huge geo-political shift. The eruption of civil unrest in North Africa, along with several other countries, meant that the nature of citizenship was changing.  All over the world, ‘regular people’ were claiming a voice as activists, journalists, educators, producers, social entrepreneurs, and policymakers. The potential of citizen driven innovation and the rise in the use of digital technology marked a sharp change in what citizens could become involved in, and the ways in which they could do so. There was a significant departure in the way in which longstanding social problems were addressed, and a undermining of top-down thinking emerged.

SIX’s contribution

In a time of public spending cuts and harsh competition, there was a growing interest in co-creating societal and citizen engagement. So SIX brought together people from across Europe to explore some key questions around this issue including:

·Can citizen-driven innovation really address social needs in a new way? Can it really be used to co create democracy? Can it be used to tackle some of the biggest societal challenges?

·What are the most effective strategy for governments, businesses and NGOs to anticipate citizen potential? What are the opportunities and threats in unleashing this power?


· Co creation guide: Realising social innovation together

· Agenda from the event

· Participant bios

· Presentation slides

· Event photos

· Event videos 


From 24- 26th May, 2011 in Amsterdam. 


Kennisland, The Netherlands.