185165281The European Union is perhaps one of the biggest collaborations in history, and it has been interesting to see the many ways in which this has inspired a variety of boundary-pushing collaborative and participatory projects.

Fellow cocreation enthusiast John Baxter recently shared a document written up by a few intrapreneurs at the European Commission (the EU’s executive body) about how they are using new, collaborative “ways of working to build stronger internal resilience, cross-DG (Directorate General) collaboration, and applied learning about systems change.” It contains great insights and practical case studies, valuable to anyone attempting something similar. (Download the Word document.)

Michel Barnier, the Commissioner for Internal Market and Services, noted this about a recent event that involved participatory leadership: “This event proved that it is possible to truly co-create public policy, to bring different parties and different views together in an interactive way and create something that has real buy-in from all sides.”

Another notable initiative, funded under the European Commission’s FP7 research program, is D-Cent:

a Europe-wide project creating privacy-aware tools and applications for direct democracy and economic empowerment. Together with the citizens and developers, we are creating a decentralised social networking platform for large-scale collaboration and decision-making.

This is some really progressive thinking about technology platforms for democracy, and it’s exciting to see this kind of work being supported through government funding. It’s early days for D-Cent, but there’s a strong partnership, and their site communicates that they are taking a smart, user-centred approach to building out their platform.

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