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Developing citizen awareness in public space planning

My name is Annekatrin Bruenig and I am a social scientist in the field of urban social innovations. I am from Germany and have studied politics and law. I am working in the field of community building and I am interested in finding answers on how to include citizens in urban planning and decision-making processes. My aim is to increase citizen-engagement and developing an awareness of their own responsibility for their urban space. One example for achieving this is that I am organising placemaking workshops with highschool students in Hamburg but I always try to find new ways in order to involve citizens in urban-decisionmaking-processes and increasing bottom-up-practices. Therefore I developed a prototype for a kind of citizen-platform which includes all urban stakeholders. Besides I have worked together with some other experts on a mutual project for a german foundation in which we have developed a prototype for a platform putting the citizens into the spotlight who are already active in civic participation. The key sentence is that “urban social innovations are made by its citizens”.

In august 2017 I took of to Kopenhagen as one of 1000 other experts coming together for attending the UNLEASH Global Innovation Lab 2017 in order to find solutions on how to fulfill the Sustainable Development Goals defined by the UN. UNLEASH is a global innovation lab that brings together people from all over the world to transform 1,000 personal insights into hundreds of ideas, and build lasting global networks around the Sustainable Development Goals.

I am always up for inspirations and new input and I am absolutely sure that I will be inspired and overwhelmed by the great and innovative ideas and prototypes formulated during the lab. It is such a great thing to bring together diverse people from 129 different countries and professional backgrounds working together on special themes in which they have gained profound knowledge and expertise using this to generate and develop something new. This is what the idea of the open innovation process is all about. Collaboration is the key and the focus of my research and work.

The højskolen Østersøen had a central role in UNLEASH by hosting the talents in 2017 and in this regard it provided the optimal setting for the participants to rethink existing approaches and produce breakthrough solutions.

Now, the project continues at Højskolen Østersøen with a long course with focus on the SDG’s. During four months, new participants will meet key players from Danish industry, NGO’s, foundations and the government sector. The aim of the course is to develop solutions for a better and more sustainable world, build strong networks and transform ideas into workable solutions. Together with our partners, including the UNLEASH organization, Project Zero and UNDP, we are offering four months of intensive and transformational training, workshops and lectures with the aim of creating real, scalable solutions. The curriculum is ideal for everyone who wants to work with innovation and the SDG’s, or who has already participated in UNLEASH or who is aiming to take part in the next UNLEASH programs.

In the course, you will have the opportunity to meet other top talents, experts, innovators and experienced UNLEASHers, who will prepare you for the upcoming events.

In Denmark, the tradition of Folk High Schools was used to gain new ideas for learning, innovation and the importance of fellowship in creating new ways of working together. Folk High Schools are learning institutions focusing on personal development, community and open collaboration. They offer immersive experiences to students of all ages based on values such as democratic debate, practical learning and a citizen-to-citizen approach.

Join us and become part of a leading global initiative for change. The course takes place from the 13th of January to the 4th of May 2018.

For more information, get in touch with me

24 Oct 2017