Citizens as Co-creators of Community Services

The Citizen Engagement to Empowerment workshop was held in Berlin, Saturday Nov 24 4:00 – 7:00 as the inaugural event at the new co-working hub d.collective.
Peter collaborated with Agoras Institute associate Heiner Benking and d.collective facilitator Johannes Milke to facilitate a workshop based on the recent Toronto DwD held a week before. About 30 people (Potsdam students and recent grads), and others from the design community attended and fanned out into several small groups to develop community service concepts.
The primary question was that of “For a community in which you participate, what service could members invent or radically improve? ”

After a brief overview of dialogic design and DwD, the workshop followed the same 4 stages – two visual recorders worked together to create a single composition of the evening’s dialogues:

Dialogue 1: “What are the some stories from here or around the world of community-led local services?”


Dialogue 2: Possibilities   “For your neighbourhood, what service could community members invent or radically improve? ”

Idea Selection

Dialogue 3: Idea Design     For your idea:

  • What personal or community need does this service address?
  • How might this service involve the community to deliver maximum value?
  • What, tools, resources or incentives would community members need to help them initiate and implement this service?
  • What support could government provide to kickstart or sustain this service?

Dialogue 4: Design Harvest

Every dialogue was captured in pictorial detail by the fantastic volunteer recorders.
Each table started with an open brainstorm around their idea and the first of 4 questions.
The “Party Payback” team bodystormed their presentation on the idea of paying their neighbours an incentive gift to allow their flat parties (a pay-it-forward bribe to not call the police!)
The Berlin d.collective crew were great to work with, and we have started discussions about continuing with design dialogue exchange as their design community space grows and takes shape over the next year. Gratitude and thanks to Heiner, Eva and Johannes (shown here), and Lukas, Laura, and all the d.collective members.