Finally the time has come: after weeks of designing, developing and writing the first version of the participation platform adhocracy.plus stands on its feet. Our office is filled to capacity and we're ready to go. Moritz Ritter, CEO Liquid Democracy, presents adhocracy.plus for the first time to the public and the already tense guests. On the whole, it is a positive experience: The guests are curious about how they can use adhocracy+ for their organization.
adhocracy+ is a self-hosted participation platform, like other providers (decidim or consul). Facebook, for example, ticks quite differently because it does not place any value on targeted online discussions. With adhocracy+, we are meeting three important trends that can be identified in German civil society: 1) Many people want to be digital, but very few know how to do it. 2) Civil society organisations initiate important public discussion processes that are the expression of a vital democracy. 3) The funds for participation projects are usually limited. adhocracy+ not only makes digital democratic knowledge practically usable, but also empowers civil society organisations to implement digital participation projects democratically. Democratic innovation is thus promoted in a targeted manner.
For these three reasons we have developed adhocracy+ for you simple, free and open source. adhocracy+ is simple because you can register in just four steps and set up a participation project. There is a separate area where you can manage your projects. Furthermore, the use of adhocracy+ is free of charge and the code of the platform is licensed under Open Source (APGLv3). Because we are convinced that it is right. Support is also available free of charge via mail. However, the entire variety of the platform can only be seen in the nine participation modules, which can be combined according to purpose and preference. We applied one module directly to our TakeOff. The participants* inside could bring in over the module interactive meeting live questions, the best were answered afterwards. For example, one participant from the audience asked "How long can I use adhocracy+ free of charge?", thus demonstrating his unmistakable interest in its use. adhocracy+ is and remains free of charge. Additional services such as training or your own URL can be added for a fee. Attention: for a short time we will offer free workshops for your organization during the introductory phase starting in January 2020. You can register here.
Following the official launch of adhocracy+, it was time to get down to business. In three different workshops, the participants could learn how to create a project for their concerns in the community, NGO or political work. They were guided by the following example projects:
... start a citizens' dialogue as members of parliament.
... carry out a citizens' budget.
... develop a mission statement in your organisation.
First, however, the 6 principles of good online participation were presented and discussed. These are particularly important so that the participation of participants is taken seriously and ultimately leads to success - this applies equally to citizens in urban politics and employees of an NGO. The workshops also offered space to address the already mentioned diversity of participation modules. Thus, differences between the modules could be clarified and meaningful (phased) combinations could be identified. Complex participation processes often consist of more than just a collection of ideas or a survey. In the administration interface, the participation modules can be combined and even events can be added. You can find an example for the joint creation of a mission statement in your organisation here.
We were particularly thrilled to see that most of the participants were curious beyond a general interest. The demand for digital democratic co-determination is growing. For example, one participant of a workshop expressed her interest in adhocracy+ for districts throughout Germany. She had already had her first experience with meinBerlin, the central contact point for digital citizen participation in the state of Berlin.
At the end of the adhocracy+ TakeOff, Robert and Magda were available at our Helpdesk to answer the last practical questions of the evening. The start of adhocracy+ was duly heralded with a fine buffet of Turkish antipasti as well as various types of drinks. And it just started. For some organizations we have already set up an access. Join us and register in just four steps.
Full of Curiosity for Digital Democracy? From January 2020 we offer free workshops for adhocracy+. Get together with other organizations and we will come to you! You can find more information here.