Democracy and participation, Arts and cultural activities

Welcome to OUR, immersive storytelling to …


Who is behind this?

Catherine Van Holder



Who is joining forces?

Kunstencentrum Vooruit


Pakhuis De Zwijger


Progetto RENA


Netwerk Democratie

Idea Sketch | Proposal


Idea pitch

What if we could explore future forms of democracy today? What if we could immerse EU citizens in the story of a fictional future democracy - entitled ‘OUR’ - built upon foundations of empathy & wisdom? By means of methods stemming from future studies, immersive storytelling & design, we aim to render a future, socially integrated Europe of empathic regions tangible, by engaging people in an urban future experience in 3 cities, inviting them to reflect on its new meanings for democracy.

Where will your idea take place?

Antwerp, Ghent, Amsterdam, Turin

Why does Europe need your idea?

The need to explore, experience & navigate toward political/democratic future(s), fit for the global & urbanised context we live in.

The need to explore, experience & navigate toward increased ‘civil political engagement’.

The need to enlarge & enrich the imagination space - hence inspire new societal options - through futures thinking.

The need for value based creation of future societies in which empathy, connection & cohesion are systemic features.

What is your impact?

Increased awareness, engagement and literacy on empathy based societies within a group of frontrunners (change enablers).
Continued in depth & imagination-driven development and exploration of possible political futures, inspiring next generation models of democracy.
An increased awareness, engagement and literacy of the artistic field about their role in transition contexts. Dissemination through means of (a) publication(s) which can be aimed both at the general public and policy makers, etc.

How do you get there?

Through storytelling & design fiction we create 3 tangible future journeys in 3 EU cities in which we reflect on democracy by immersing citizens in a fictional, empathy & wisdom based future democratic world.

Citizens are taken on a day long walk through town. At various locations, different aspects of the future world are brought to life through enactment, storytelling, physical artefacts, etc. Participants actively engage with empathy-based democracy through immersion in the future. The day ends in a political ‘agora’, inviting them to reflect upon their experience and draw lessons for future democracy in the EU.

Output includes the futures journey as such, speculative artefacts, an overview of building blocks for reinventing democracy today formulated through citizens’ reflections.

What is your story?


Who are you doing it for?

By engaging citizens and policy makers from 3 cities, we want to engage a multi-cultural audience and stakeholders. We expect mainly frontrunners to be participating in the future journey, taking on the role of catalysts for change. By working together with the artistic field, we hope to stimulate them (further) to actively participate in transition contexts. Dissemination to the general public as well as relevant actors within the field of democracy and politics are aimed for in PR efforts.

What makes your idea stand apart?

The project situates itself inbetween & across traditional boundaries between disciplines, between sciences & arts/design.
By working on the crossroads of politics, future studies and the arts/design a framework is provided for “the reimagination/redesign of the world”, while at the same time showing communicative & exploratory effectiveness. Future(s) are rendered tangible together with local communities. Together they provide tools for a more complex & intuitive exploration of possibilities

€ 50000,-

Funding requested from Advocate Europe

€ 146500,-

Total budget

Major expenses

creation (personnel) costs (€ 50K), production/event costs (€ 50K), public relations (€ 15K), fees and honoraries (€ 13,5K), overhead & travel costs (€ 13,5K)

What do you need from the Advocate Europe community?

We welcome all kinds of constructive, relevant feedback



Idea created on March 8, 2016
Last edit on Oct. 30, 2017

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