Beyond Words – Citizen Dialogue

Strengthening Local Democracy through Dialouge

Challenge: How can we make our local political board meetings more accessible?
Challenge Giver: City Of Stockholm, Skärholmen city district administration
Solution: Develop your District
Concept:  The concept integrates a digital platform with persons assisting as ideation coaches, and incorporates this into the existing structure of the district management.
Challenge Area: Sustainable urban development

This report summarizes the process and end-result of the interdisciplinary group Beyond Words’ work on citizen dialogue in the Skärholmen district during the spring of 2020. In January, Beyond Words received a challenge to increase citizen engagement at the Skärholmen district board meetings. The purpose of these meetings is to increase democracy, have a citizen dialogue, and provide information about local political decisions. The challenge was to attract a more representative crowd to the meetings, and to increase the number of people attending.

With Design Thinking theory and methods freshly acquired in our toolbox, we started tackling the challenge. We empathized, ideated, defined, prototyped and tested repeatedly during the course of several months. We showcase here our four final solutions, aimed to strengthen local democracy with the help of citizen dialogue. They focus on educating local politicians, accelerating existing dialogues, facilitating residents’ ideas, and integrating dialogue in the decision making process. The final solution “Develop your District” enables residents, politicians and clerks to connect and collaborate in an inspiring, user friendly and transparent way. We hope our solutions may inspire to think about the how of citizen dialogue and local democracy in a new way, and that we thereby contribute to a positive development in society. 

Project presentation video

A project by: Beatrice Nordling, Gijs Aangenendt, Giulio Fiorenza, Felicia Hjelmqvist, Kesaobaka Pelokgale, Josephine Stephen, Shweta Pathak