The watertower of the train station in Oberhausen, a town in Germany’s Ruhr area, has been transformed into a laboratory for interventions. Three years ago, we came across this place when the project team wanted to work alongside refugees renovating the high-rise building to revive the city from the bottom up – and won our challenge with the idea of “Refugees for Co-Creative Cities”.
Now, for one day this June, the building has become the place for another chapter of Advocate Europe’s story as we invited our jury there to select the winners of the 2018 edition of our challenge on democracy in Europe, hosted by our alumni team with whom we’ve been in touch ever since.
Inside the watertower of Oberhausen’s station – the venue for our jury meeting.
The collection of ideas – on composing the portfolio
If we want to reinvent democracy in Europe, what are the key points we need to fix and how do the ideas we received connect to that? The task of the jury was to select a portfolio of ideas out of the 31 shortlisted ones. Up to twelve ideas can be funded each round of the challenge with up to 50,000 euros each, along with mentoring and support from the Advocate Europe team in implementing the project during one year.
The ideas on the shortlist tackle the topic from different angles. They link democracy to women’s rights, develop new voting mechanisms, draw strategies for counteracting fake news, pilot citizens’ assemblies and explore community currency and participatory budgeting. The jury’s task: to put together a composition of ideas that makes sense individually as well as together in a combined collection of prototypes for together reshaping democracy in Europe.
A sense of possibility – voices of the five jurors
The five jurors (left to right): Urban Jeriha, Valerie Mocker, Marian Goodman, Josef Janning and Dr. Sylwia Spurek
Each of the jurors came with a unique and practised perspective on what is most relevant for the future of democracy in Europe and the world. We captured some voices at the meeting.
– Marian Goodman, Core Member of the Presencing Institute in South Africa
– Josef Janning, Head of Berlin Office and Senior Policy Fellow, European Council on Foreign Relations in Berlin
– Urban Jeriha, Advocate Europe alumni and project manager at IPoP - Institute for Spatial Policies in Ljubljana
– Valerie Mocker, Head of Development & European Digital Policy of Nesta in London
– Dr. Sylwia Spurek, Deputy Commissioner for Human Rights in Warsaw
A catalogue of perspectives
To trace the lines of discussion at the jury meeting, get insights into questions we collected during the event.
Behind the Jury Meeting: The event was hosted with our alumni team from kitev in Oberhausen, Germany. Together with Jotham Sietsma, our MitOst managing director, we moderated the event, which was accompanied by our partner Liquid Democracy and our funder Stiftung Mercator. The pictures were taken by Oberhausen-based photographer Axel J. Scherer. Our jury’s reading package, the shortlist, is accessible in our Idea Space.