Communities, Urban development

Empowering local changemakers


Who is behind this?

Aster van Tilburg

Voor je Buurt


Who is joining forces?

Grafisch Lyceum Utrecht


The graphic design students of Grafisch Lyceum Utrecht will provide the participating social projects with practical support in social media, designing communication materials and videos.



Idea pitch

Local changemakers reshape our cities with social projects like a community garden and a language training restaurant for refugees. But they lack impact and effectiveness due to bureaucratic challenges and shortage of skills and network. By creating a new support structure we aim to empower changemakers by providing them with a network of peers, relevant experts and committed local governments. Together we realise successful projects and create new collaboration and decision making practices.

Where does your idea take place?

The Netherlands and Belgium.

Why does Europe need your idea?

We see that traditional top down democratic decision making is inadequate to empower local changemakers. We need new practices to enable bottom up initiatives within the boundaries of democratic checks and balances.

What is your impact?

In 6 cities or regions in The Netherlands and Belgium at least 30 innovative bottom up projects are realised with crowdfunding. Innovative and tested support networks provide better conditions for new local changemakers. And we have new best practices to reshape decision making.

How do you get there?

We start local changemaker networks in 6 cities or regions in the Netherlands and Belgium. An open call gives local changemakers with an urgent social project the opportunity to participate. In a serie of meetups we create the best conditions for participants to realise their social project and maximise their impact. By getting permission and necessary resources of the local government, support with project management, communication, graphic design (by students) and campaigning and a peer networ

What is your story?

The 600+ civic projects we coached in the past years often face bureaucratic resistance and a lack of network or specific knowledge. We believe we can double their impact if we combine forces into a movement and provide them with a local network of relevant experts and government organisations.

Who are you doing it for?

We do this to empower local changemakers to realise their social bottom up projects on a local level. And we aim to provide new best practices for governments to give space and support to bottom up civic projects in their democratic and bureaucratic procedures.

What do you need from the Advocate Europe community?

Could we extend our approach to more countries in Europe? Do you think we should focus on civic projects in a specific field?


Aster van Tilburg

Danielle Gouman

Idea created on Jan. 12, 2018
Last edit on Jan. 16, 2018

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