Initiatives 2013 | Borders to Cross

Borders to Cross brings together innovative examples of democratic innovation and civic driven change in and around Europe. Over 100 initiatives have applied to our open call for innovative practices and dilemmas and 40 are chosen as the most inspiring and innovative. Questions and dilemmas that these initiatives encounter on a micro level are the basis of the learning community at Borders to Cross. We will also reflect beyond these daily practices and look at the bigger picture of the transition that fosters democratic innovation and civic driven change.

Look around below and meet these initiatives already today and start exchanging in our LinkedIn community. Or download a summary of the Borders to Cross 2013 initiatives here.


Borders to Cross | Initiative

Patient Involvement in federal joint committee

In 2003 the German parliament has granted advocacy groups of chronically ill and disabled people the right to be involved in the decision-making process in health care policy. Decision-making takes place in the Gemeinsamer Bundesausschuss – the federal committee of insurance companies, doctors and hospitals. Corporatism is the classical way of decision-making in Germany, but involvement of patients as consumers is a radical new approach. This involvement moves beyond the classical lobbying to the ministry and it’s also not a “patient panel” as the individuals are legitimized in a bottom-up process.

Borders to Cross | Initiative

The Hallen

The primary issue in this project was how to redevelop The Hallen (the former halls for the trams) into a cultural centre that would be both financially feasible and supported by the neighborhood. The key issue was how to organize a process that could bring these two (competing) goals together. After years of arguments , conflicts and crises, the district council of Amsterdam West decided to initiate a new process for development, inviting all stakeholder to take an active role in finding ways to allow this project to happen.

Borders to Cross | Initiative


Kwanda is a reality TV show focusing on the process of community transformation led by the people in several townships in South Africa. The episodes show interaction between senior government officials and ordinary people in the Kwanda communities, as they discussed how best to tackle the key social challenges facing the country. This reality show involved hundreds of citizens, made community development the subject of everyday conversation in households and workplaces across the country, made ordinary working people into popular heroes.

Borders to Cross | Initiative

Goteo (Spanish forĀ  trickle or dripping), is a platform for investing in “feeder capital” that supports projects with social, cultural, scientific, educational, technological, or ecological objectives that generate new opportunities for the improvement of society and the enrichment of community goods and resources. The unique focus of this crowdfunding platform is that all projects are “open source” and that there is a great response of citizens. Apart from giving individual rewards, it also generates a collective return through fomenting the commons, open code and/or free knowledge.

Borders to Cross | Initiative


The municipality of Ravenna started the project CittA@ttiva in 2007. It is all about social mediation of conflicts. This was accomplished by allowing a group of young civil servants, specialized in social mediation and participatory approaches, to act freely and to show their accountability by their deeds and results. Moreover a deputy mayor was installed for participatory public decisions. The project has made a growing number of very creative and interesting participatory projects in Ravenna possible.