Conference 2013 | Borders to Cross

Borders to Cross Conference 2013

Europe is bursting with examples of democratic innovation and social change. Citizens are taking public matters into their own hands, driving change through efforts to improve the neighbourhoods and cities in which they live. And government officials are experimenting with new forms of practical deliberation, which reshape relationships with the public and other stakeholders.

To face up to social and democratic challenges like the current financial crisis and growing distrust in political representation, new forms of co-creation and cooperation are necessary, and are evolving all the time. But they are also transforming the roles and responsibilities of everyone concerned. And they raise their own dilemmas and questions. For example, how do we support and facilitate grassroots initiatives whilst at the same time addressing public concerns? How do we ensure that such initiatives last? And how do governments respond to bottom-up developments in civil society?

Borders to Cross will bring together practitioners from the public service, civil society and the market to discuss possible answers to these questions of democratic renewal and social change.

Come and learn about democratic and social innovation

Borders to Cross is an international, mainly European conference for up to 250 government professionals, active citizens, social entrepreneurs and academics in the field of social and democratic innovation. At its heart are 40 fascinating initiatives from all over Europe and beyond. Around these innovative cases, which range from “Better Reykjavik” to “Self-Governance in Peel en Maas” (NL), you can participate in workshops, speed dates and theoretical reflection.

Come and learn from practices as new forms of joint decision-making, inclusive participation, innovative social business models, everyday democracy and new approaches to ownership and the civic economy. Read more about the programme of Border to Cross 2013 here.


The conference is free of charge, with the exception of a fee of €25 for the optional evening event on 30 October, the City Picnic. During this you will visit interesting examples of social business models and participatory practice in Amsterdam. Conference registration does not include travel or accommodation expenses.