There is always something going on
The Indian government had launched the Gram Panchayat (Village Council) Development Planning (GPDP) guidelines a few years ago. The objective was to streamline local planning decisions and to promote citizen participation in rural governance.
Engaging youth for a more sustainable, inclusive and engaged global community is a goal that is shared by both the IFD21 as well as UNESCO-MGIEP, the only research institution of UNESCO in Asia.
The European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) is a European Union mechanism aimed at increasing direct democracy by enabling ‘EU citizens to participate directly in the development of EU policies’, introduced with the Treaty of Lisbon in 2007 (Article 11, Section 4).
The Freiraum project, by Goethe-Institut, connects 38 civil society organisations from different European cities. Under Freiraum, these organisations have formed 19 tandem-pairs to explore the idea of European space in terms of freedom, through projects of local relevance. What questions arise when citizens, scientists and cultural practitioners think of the term "freedom" in a way that is specific to a place? For our local Freiraum project, tandem-partners IFD21 from Prague and publisher Hors d'Atteinte from Marseille, are focusing on questions of democratic participation in the planning and re-making of European cities through large-scale urban development interventions. A research study, a series of film workshops, and 3 short-films developed through participatory art methods, make-up the deliverables of our collaboration.
We were thrilled to attend 3th year of a annual conference CanEx Jamaica, a unique business-to-business event that brings together top cannabis industry experts from the U.S., Canada, South and Central America, Europe, Australia and the Caribbean. Our founder and visionaire, Karel Janeček, was among the invited top speakers and we were pleased to organise an Opinion Poll with the attendees.
IFD21 was invited to Lugano in Switzerland for the first ever Ethfinex Governance Summit. Our contribution was about the Janecek method and its advantages in finding consensus in decentralised communities, such as the blockchain community, that met at the Summit. The participants were really interested in the topic, despite the fact that it was a bit outside of the blockchain oriented scope of the Summit but closely linked with the Governance element. We have met new interesting partners and are looking forward to new ventures with them.
There needs to be a change in the growing trend world-wide for engaging citizens in politics more often than in local-level decision-making. More than 200 representatives from 40 Czech towns and cities, developers, civil society organisations and business representatives attended the D21 conference titled “Interconnected City” held on March 27, 2018 at the Prague Centre for Architecture and Urban Planning (CAMP). The international conference was dedicated to the latest trends in the field of participation and best practices and guidelines for effective engagement.
Our Indian branch, the Foundation for Community Consensus was represented through Ankitha Cheerakathil, who spoke about the School Participatory Budgeting project that was implemented successfully at Rajkiya Pratibha Vikas Vidyalaya (RPVV) School (Hari Nagar) in West Delhi. The presentation was met with tremendously positive feedback and interest.
The Czech state saved two billion CZK – or almost 80 million GBP – thanks to the activities of the Anticorruption Endowment (NFPK). This is (partly) the price the Czech Republic loses to corruption. A sum the participants of the Cambridge International Symposium on Economic Crime found impossible to believe.
The development of general Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the most important themes for society and the world of tech, because of its potential to disrupt many areas of human activity, and to define the future of humankind itself.
If you could ask all the people in the world one question, what would it be? It is nice to think about, but seems unrealistic to make it happen. Well, with modern technologies and the Internet, it is not so unrealistic anymore. In the Institute for Democracy 21, we are developing a think tank focused on the possibility of global voting and discussion about important issues in near future.
We competed among ten organizations aimed at supporting democracy and civil society development and were invited to join the new EVZ Lab for Civil Society acceleration program, which is organised by the Impact Hub network of coworking centers in close cooperation with the German EVZ Foundation.
We are happy that our last year’s project Prezident 21 has been so successful. The expert jury of Fénix content marketing competition rewarded our efforts to engage 327 000 Czechs in the voting game with Special prize for activating the target group.
Senator Jiří Dienstbier has drafted a bill to amend the voting system for the Czech Senate involving a single-round system based on the Australian voting system. The bill has passed the first reading and right now it is being discussed by expert committees. Elections to the Senate traditionally register low participation, in the second round, it drops to an average of 17 %. Introducing a single-round election is definitely desirable, however, the Australian system has certain key disadvantages.
For the third time, our sister organisation D21 has been helping with preparation of a participatory budget in New York City. Participatory Budgeting (PB) is a democratic process whereby community members directly decide how to spend an allocated portion of the public budget. D21 provided the complete technical solution for PB in 2016, 2017 as well as this year. Citizens voted on the winning projects, using a variant of the Democracy 21 method with no negative ballots. Citizens could allocate up to 5 positive ballots among the proposed projects. D21 was also involved in the successful digitisation of the whole process.