What happens when a civil society organization, a policy maker and a journalist are presented with an unusual combination of foods and need to invent a meal? “Cooking up Solutions“ gets the three participants on equal footing as they cooperate and find consensus – but not just in the kitchen, also on a concrete Threat to Democracy. On the occasion of the New York Times Athens Democracy Forum, we enable trilateral discussions to find out-of-the-box solutions for concrete challenges in Europe.
After an online call to journalists all over Europe, the final event takes place in Athens, Greece.
As democracy is being challenged by mistrust and populism throughout Europe, we want to encourage civil discourse among citizens, policy makers and journalists.“Cooking up Solutions“ is a miniature democratic plenum around a kitchen table to solve concrete problems while inventing a dish together.
We propose a constructive, solution-oriented project that shows democracy in practice. We’ll bring together the three sectors necessary for democracy – the people, the press and the policy makers. These discussions will result in real ideas that are taken back to the communities for implementation.
1) Call for ideas: International Journalists apply with 1-minute videos with a Threat to Democracy their region is facing
2) Matchmaking: The AE community proposes partners with expertise in the addressed field
3) Cooking up Solutions: Ten teams participate in Athens. Problem-solving at the kitchen table will be streamed to allow online comments
4) Production: What happens to the proposed solution back in the community? Each journalist produces story for local media + project website
We created Hostwriter in 2013 with the mission to connect journalists across countries and enable a more diverse media coverage with underreported perspectives. Likewise, Cooking up Solutions connects people across sectors to find new solutions, acting as a miniature model of democracy in practice.
Everyone involved in the “Cooking up Solutions” project gains something. Journalists will gain a story. Civil society members will receive a solution they can take back to their community. Policy makers will gain a connection to communities and learn about problems that might not be on their radar.
The Advocate Europe community would play a key role in matching the teams for "Cooking up Solutions": We know the journos, but we'll need your advice on civil society members and policy makers to participate in the final event in Athens. Does this sound feasible? We highly appreciate your feedback!