Innovations in Politics Awards 2018: The Nine Finalists from GermanySelection of innovative projects in the field of health, digitalisation and sustainability
Das Progressive Zentrum has scouted innovative projects by politicians in Germany. A European jury has nominated nine of those for the finals. The price will be awarded in Vienna on 17 November. Even though all nominees follow different approaches, they are united by one theme.
The finalists of the Innovation in Politics Awards 2018 have been announced: 80 projects managed to convince the European 1,000 persons strong jury – nine of those are from Germany. All nominees proved to be extraordinarily innovative. In total, eight prizes will be awarded to those projects with the greatest power to improve politics in Europe – and consequently may serve as a source of inspiration for many more projects.
Thereby, the Innovations in Politics Awards focus on politicians who are creative and at the same time achieve real results – regardless of party affiliation and regional level. On November 17, the winners and their respective political leaders will be announced in Vienna.
The Innovation in Politics Nominees from Germany
OPIN.me. Digital participation: an online tool developed to connect public administration and other groups, providing a toolbox for participation.
Steffen Hess und Randolf Stich: Digital Villages. Connecting rural communities: a development project designed to support local businesses in rural villages.
Digital Villages is a development project, designed to connect communities in remote rural areas through digital solutions. One of the first applications of the programme consists of the conjunction of local merchants and an online retail platform. Thereby local businesses can be supported, while also enjoying the advantages of online retail. This example illustrates the great potential of combining local infrastructure and technical innovation.
Ashok-Alexander Sridharan: Bonn Participates is an online platform designed to encourage civic participation.
Wiebke Esdar: Cooking and Chatting in Bielefeld. Sharing a meal: a quarterly event where citizens can come together to cook and eat a common meal.
Cooking and Chatting in Bielefeld is a great way to connect people. In Bielefeld’s Ostmannturmviertel, citizens, local politicians and civil servants come together quarterly to prepare meals and eat together. Sixteen participants work on four cooking stations, where four participants are representatives from different political parties. The outstanding democratic aspect of this approach is the open end. People are invited to talk with the aim of creating a cluster from which the local administrations can form follow-up projects. Dishes of Turkish, Indian, Polish and German origin are cooked and a casual way of conversation quickly emerges. This fosters addressing neighbourhood issues, such as the socially problematic situation around drug use at the railway station, or the need for new bicycle parking, and therefore provides incentives for cooperation on new projects. Even the structure of the event is open for improvement, such as to prolong conversational windows while cooking and to instigate a visualisation of the outcome.
Erika Träger: Regiothek. Transparency in food: an online platform designed to create traceable supply chains from farmers to restaurants.
Gerda Stuchlik: The “Freiburgcup”. Reusable cups: a system in Freiburg that aims to eliminate single-use coffee cups through the introduction of a reusable cup, accepted town-wide.
Barbara Steffens: Care for Integration and related Services. Supporting refugees: assisting refugees in their professional integration into nursing and healthcare professions.
Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, Rebecca Harms, Vincent-Immanuel Herr, Martin Speer, István Ujhelyi, Manfred Weber: #Freeinterrail. Exploring Europe: an Interrail pass granting free train travel to young Europeans.
#Freeinterrail: On their 18th birthday, every EU citizen receives a congratulatory note, information about mobility in Europe and a voucher for a 1-month Interrail pass, granting free train travel across Europe to the holder. This is the idea of #FreeInterrail that has gathered broad support within the EU and at the national level. As the first 15,000 young Europeans in the pilot project are travelling and exploring their home continent in the summer of 2018, the European Commission has promised up to 700 million Euro for 2021-2027 as part of #DiscoverEU. This initiative intends to: increase youth mobility and access to international travel regardless of financial or national background; combat stereotypes and prejudices by enabling first-hand encounters with people in other countries; fosters intercultural friendships and relationships; increase youth interest in the EU, its institutions and political processes; be the first EU programme that reaches all citizens; give all Europeans an offer which unites them across borders and generations; and support sustainable and green travel.