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.
Gypsy traveller awareness training program
The Gypsy traveller awareness training program was organized locally across the regions of England from 2008 onwards. The project brought together elected officials and members of the Gypsy-Traveller community as a part of a single team to deliver the awareness training. The project addressed discrimination against the Gypsy-Traveller community, failure of local councils to address needs for sites for residence and to address inequalities in education, health, and employment outcomes and resulted in changed perspectives on and changed attitudes towards the Gypsy and traveller community that manifested in planning permissions for residence sites.
Five municipalities and the Regional Government in the province of Bologna initiated a citizen’s review initiative as a response to a consultative referendum in which citizens were asked to provide a Yes or a No on the proposal for a merger in one larger administrative entity. In this initiative a Review Team, consisting of randomly selected people living in the valley, was set up. After three days of deliberation, information and interaction with relevant actors, this Review Team released a final document to the population in order to help them make an informed voting decision.
This project that was initiated by the NGO Gudran uses art as a means for social transformation in the fishermen village of El Max in Egypt. The project started in 2009 and deals with both social issues as maintenance of buildings and spaces. Art facilitated open dialogue between social and political groups in an ‘innocent’ or seemingly ‘non dangerous’ way. By painting buildings, reconstructing fences and drainage, using art, the villagers whom are involved are more likely to maintain it and think of possibilities to make them more sustainable. It is also a social activity that brings people together and creates new social ties
This Greek grass roots movement started in July 2012 in an effort to raise awareness on the dangers of the announced privatization of water services and build a broad resistance in order to stop it. To do this it worked in documentation (e.g. argumentation, updated factsheets on the process with economic and legal comments), networking (on the municipal , national, and European level), production of campaign material (e.g. social media, interviews in Greece and abroad etc.) and last but not least political work (e.g. meetings with Greek Members of Parliament, mayors). In a way this project reclaims the public sphere from its usual actors and puts a citizens’ initiative as an equal in the public sphere.
This initiative was developed in the Dutch municipality of Peel en Maas, which has chosen to systematically apply the subsidiarity principle in the relation between local government and civil society: everything that can be done by society itself must not be done by the local government, but by society itself. Except basic public functions like police and infrastructure, the rule applies: no initiative, no facilities. With this form of self-governance, the local government gives room to people to take responsibility for their own quality of life