The city of Amsterdam, like many cities around the world, is facing wide ranging challenges such as lack of housing, climate change adaptation and gentrification. Part of the way forward is not only what we do, but how we do it. Democratising is part of that ‘how’. This afternoon was the 8th event in a series of conversations in which the municipality invited citizens to come and talk about the future of the city. My rol was to moderate the session.
A few of the questions we explored were: looking at 2049: what will the Netherlands look like then? In what kind of houses will we live, in what kind of society, in what kind of city? Are we all eating from our shared food forest, are we surrounded by supercomputers that are democratically managed or are we fully satisfied consumers of the city and society?
With this Meetup we want to explore together: what does democratization mean to you, to me and to the 'Amsterdammer'? How do we show 'guts' when it comes to democratization, which future do we choose and how do we contribute to this future ourselves - in the coming year?
The topic of democracy feels important to me. We only have 76 democracies in the world - and are on the verge of losing one, Hongkong, at the time of writing this in November 2020 - out of 195 countries worldwide. Our current democracies may still have many things we can improve, but it at least ensures citizens can elect their government, can participate in the political system, have freedom of press and freedom of speech and other basic human rights. It made me wonder what democracy means to me and how I can become more politically engaged. #democracy #future #city #Amsterdam #citizen #participation #dialogue #conversation