Democracy and participation, Social inclusion

Self-determined Service for the Common Good


Who is behind this?

Wolfgang Höschele


Idea Sketch


Idea pitch

Imagine that everyone can propose doing an activity 20 hours a week, that he/she is passionate about and that advances the common good, be paid for it, while being allowed to work up to half-time in another job. This could mobilize millions of people to address vital issues, contributing to vibrant democracy while earning a sufficient income from activities they enjoy. We will ask people whether they would be interested in doing such a service, and what kind of work they would choose to do.

Where will your idea take place?

Heidelberg, Germany
Prague, Czech Republic

Why does Europe need your idea?

A vibrant democracy depends on people who actively address social and ecological issues. It also depends on people who feel secure about their own livelihoods and thus feel secure in taking a stand. A self-determined service for the common good would support people to be secure and to get involved.

What is your impact?

We will publish interviews, and an analysis of those interviews, showing what people might do if a self-determined service for the common good existed. Showing what human potential could be mobilized by such a measure may motivate some towns, provinces, or countries to launch a pilot scheme.

How do you get there?

Interview people belonging to several target groups, to learn a) whether they would be interested in doing a self-determined service for the common good if that was available, and b) what kinds of work they would choose to do. Conduct interviews in several EU countries (e.g., Germany, Czech Republic, Ireland, Italy, Spain) in order to get a sense of people's ideas in culturally varied contexts. In parallel, interview administrators of relevant organisations on their thoughts about the proposal.

What is your story?

Millions of people are unsatisfied because their actual or potential contributions to society are not valued. At the same time, enormous amounts of work that needs to be done is being left undone, because nobody is being paid to do this work. To me, this waste of human potential is a tragedy.

Who are you doing it for?

People who are not earning enough to make a decent living and want to earn money while doing something useful for society.
People who are unhappy in their jobs because they find their jobs meaningless.
People who are actively working for the common good without being paid for this work.

What do you need from the Advocate Europe community?

Suggestions how to improve the idea of a self-determined service for the common good (explained here: Suggestions of people to interview, or how best to reach certain kinds of people (see question "who are you doing it for?").


Wolfgang H


Idea created on Jan. 2, 2018
Last edit on Jan. 10, 2018

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