Civil Society

Today, larger initiatives and institutions such as environmental and social organizations, churches, non-profit associations as well as public-private partnership projects are faced with challenges which require entirely new approaches to organization and collaboration.

Individual and collective potentials

These approaches can already be characterized as being based neither on hierarchical top-down or bottom-up thinking, nor on horizontal consensus approaches. Instead, they are concerned with recognizing the diversity of all those involved. They develop the individual potential in the interest of a common emergent goal. The collective intelligence and creativity resulting from such collaborative processes we believe capable of being the crucial key to addressing the major challenges of the 21st century. These approaches are both rooted in local practices and able to contribute to global solutions. They foster strong common ideas by letting each one of us develop our own potential.

Technologies and practices

At the Institute for Participative Design we regard the development of methods and solutions for these approaches as an urgent field of research. For many years we have been working creatively with a diverse range of groups in order to collaboratively develop concepts and projects. Increasingly we find that there is a growing need to also engage in these generative processes with very large groups and with the aid of modern communication technologies. The technical solutions required to this end do not yet exist. They would need to go well beyond the capabilities of Web 2.0 and would require interfaces to all participants’ non-virtual local practices and lifeworlds.

At the IPG we work with you to devise strategies and develop processes at any scale in order to raise your members’ and supporters’ potential in the interest of common empowering projects, for example for

  • an environmental organization planning a global action on the protection of biodiversity which is to be coordinated by local members and designed in accordance with the local ecology;
  • a non-profit enterprise that wants to develop a participative business model;

  • a church that initiates a large-scale project on direct neighbourly help where the congregation members themselves develop the programmes needed in their neighbourhoods;

  • an educational initiative that aims at initiating education projects adapted to varying needs and local conditions;

  • a fund-raising project that wants to channel funds straight to those in need.

"No problem can be solved from the consciousness that created it." Albert Einstein