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 community gardens and a language training restaurant for refugees. But they lack impact and effectiveness due to bureaucratic challenges and shortage of skills and network. Our aim is to create local support infrastructures, bringing together conventional and non-conventional parties that enable changemakers to quickly and effectively collect funds, expertise, volunteers and materials needed to carry out their projects.

Where does your idea take place?

The Netherlands and Belgium, with the prospect of introducing the model in other EU countries.

Why does Europe need your idea?

Our pitch is about the democratisation of ‘getting things done bottom up’. We find that all too often (great) small-scale initiatives that spring from the very heart of EU-societies are never fully realised or lack effectiveness because they fail to collect funding or expertise.

What is your impact?

We have built local support infrastructures for local changemakers in 6 cities/regions. And we will have developed a model for building such infrastructures throughout the EU. The infrastructures will allow changemakers to simultaneously get access to funding, expertise, volunteers and materials.

How do you get there?

Using both online technology and offline co-creation sessions, we will create support networks for local changemakers in 6 cities/regions. We will bring together conventional and non-conventional organisations (incl governments and the crowd) that are willing to support changemakers in that place with funding, their expertise and/or time. We will work with those parties to design instruments and programmes, and make sure their contributions to changemakers are better coordinated and transparant.

What is your story?

Many of the 600+ civic projects we coached lacked an effective support network. Starting from civic crowdfunding, we believe that new support infrastructures for local changemakers are imminent, in which all kinds of parties work together to enable bottom up initiatives.

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

Martijn Arnoldus

Idea created on Jan. 12, 2018
Last edit on Jan. 18, 2018

Write comment