Democracy and participation, Communities, capacity building and citizen mobilisation



Who is behind this?

Zakia Elvang



Who is joining forces?

Democracy Festival Community




Byens Hus


Other partners: Scout organizations based in DK but with a international network The activist school/the good Lobby

Idea Sketch | Proposal


Idea pitch

Like muscles in general our democratic muscles require training. Democracy Fitness is a simple, active and motivating training concept. Each session takes 30 minutes and focus on one muscle. All sessions are designed after modern learning principles. In the project we want to gather and train fitness trainers and give them the methods and competences to choose muscles, design training and train citizens from their own context.

Where will your idea take place?

We plan two train-the-trainer camps
a) Estonia, Tallin
b) Denmark, Bornholm

Why does Europe need your idea?

We believe in people! And our democracy needs all of us to be strong, lively and competent. We need more active and engaging ways of practicing democracy in Europe. While scholars are discussing institutions and treaties, too many civil democratic muscles are weakening. The main purpose of DEMOCRACY FITNESS is to develop a concept and method to build our democratic muscles.

What is your impact?

- A strong democracy fitness concept that has been tested in many cultural contexts
- +40 muscle training sessions has been developed, described and shared
- 60+ engaged and competent democracy fitness trainers – who is training democracy
muscles in their own countries and context
- 80% of the trainers use a simple online open source platform on which all methods are also available for any who would want to use it
- 5000+ European citizens have been trained in a democracy muscle – and want more
- Strengthened awareness in general on everyday democracy and the muscles we all need to train and use

How do you get there?

Step 1: Designing core concept and prototyping Has already been conducted
Step 2: Concept development Based on tests and input from Advocate Europe Camp in Kiev.
Step 3: Getting organized Build a simple collaborative platform online. Planning Train-the-Trainer camps with partners. Inviting participants
Step 4: Democracy Fitness Trainer camp x2 A trainer camp for the Democracy Festival Organizers and a camp for a broader and open group
Step 5: Training and evaluating All fitness trainers do training in their own context and platforms. Evaluation online, observations and sharing experience on the collaborative platform.
Step 6: Sustainable platform Designing, organizing and financing

What is your story?

Europe seems to be falling apart. Growing disintegration, intolerance, growing right wing and populism tendencies, closed boarders and not least a dangerous apathy and distrust in the system and the politics. We need to relearn that democracy is all of us. That democracy is potentially embedded in all our daily life actions and behavior. You could say -we need democracy to save democracy! We truly believe and can see the potential in making democracy something that is accessible, engaging –and even fun to practice. To take it out of dark rooms with men in suits and into the streets and all the other rooms in which we live our lives.
DEMOCRACY FITNESS is a very simple concept and scalable and applicable to all kind of people and institutions.

Who are you doing it for?

For all of us!

Our primary target group:
But we have chosen to target key change makers in the European countries as our target group for the camps. To grow larger impact and experience.
The changemakers are from the Democracy Festivals in 12 European countries (+800.000 citizens participating there), from local and regional Democracy Festivals (like the Danish youth democracy festivals). And from a broader network – the scout organizations and other civil society actors.

Our secondary target group:
Citizens of all kinds that can be engaged through our trainer network.

What makes your idea stand apart?

We make it easy and motivating to become fit for democracy. We use a metaphor that is known by everyone – and use it to tell the story and design democracy training that is accessible for everyone. Democracy Fitness doesn’t need a classroom, a power point projector or a classical teacher. It needs a group of citizens and someone who wants to train with them. It can be done everywhere, with anyone, any time.

€ 49550,-

Funding requested from Advocate Europe

€ 99590,-

Total budget

€ 49550,-

Funding granted from Advocate Europe

Major expenses

1. Concept and getting organized = 10.800 EUR 2. Develop, plan and facilitate 2 camps=25400 EUR 3. Evaluation, observations and adjusting concept= 2050 4. Communication and platform=8100 5. Mobilization and partnerships=3600 WITHOUT in kind contribution and sponsor contribution

What do you need from the Advocate Europe community?

1) How to build a simple, online and collaborative platform 2) Who should we invite for the trainer camps? 3) Who would it be good to collaborate with? 4) Have you heard of anyone who might have experience with similar 5) How do we develop the project from being a project to a more permanent

Project Journey

Failing forward


We have had problems creating a platform to our needs. Creating a webpage that answers the questions people have abourt Democracy Fitness has taken a lot of time - and it still do not feel like we are quite there yet ... have a look and tell us what you think. Please share if you know someone who would like the concept.

Kathrine Krone Laurent on Sept. 22, 2019
Road to impact

The network of trainers are growing

In march 2019 we trained even more Democracy Fitness trainers - now we are alle (more than 70) connected in a facebook-group sharing our experience and impact. From here we try to monitor how many people is trained in Democracy Fitness - up until now it is around 2.000 people from Tunesia to Stockholm 

at the Train-the-Trainer Camp in Copenhagen - more than 50 trainers

Kathrine Krone Laurent on Sept. 22, 2019
Road to impact

20 new Trainers in Tallinn - Estonia

We invited the European Democracy Festival to attend the first ever Democracy Fitness Train the Trainer Camp - this is a great way to get the concept and movement out

Kathrine Krone Laurent on March 11, 2019
Heroines and heroes

Our new Advocate-friends and their democracy muscles

Amazing Network-meeting i Maribor, Slovenia. It gave us a chance to try out a part of our concept for the camps. And then we hooked up with the other cool winners - and the community award winner <3 

Amazing input from our new winner-friends

Kathrine Krone Laurent on Dec. 10, 2018

Why this idea?

If muscles aren’t used, they get weaker. The same happens when we become apathetic about democracy. Democracy Fitness is developing a workout programme that motivates people to train democratic muscles. It enables us to take part more actively in the democratic process and keeps us fit so we can form sustainable democracies.


Trine Demant

Zakia Elvang

Kathrine Krone Laurent

Idea created on Jan. 16, 2018
Last edit on July 19, 2018

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