The aim of the Frankfurt Democracy Convention is to make political participation tangible with a focus on mutual exchange. The purpose is to create a culture of constructive local debate and reduce feelings of alienation from the political system. Democracy is to be reconceived as practice – a creative process of active co-shaping through the consultation of many different people. In February 2019, fifty randomly selected Frankfurt citizens met for three days to discuss how citizens’ participation could be improved in Frankfurt. Many different perspectives and ideas were represented, resulting in concrete recommendations for action.

The first Democracy Convention showed that it is possible to actively involve people in local political decision-making – citizens advise politicians and are central to the democratic process. Men and women from all districts of Frankfurt were invited in equal numbers, and one-third of the 50 participants in the Democracy Convention were randomly selected from groups of underrepresented citizens, such as young, low-income, migrant and homeless people. This type of selection is intended to bring together people with different perspectives, in contrast to other political events where participants are personally invited.

Project owner: Peter Feldmann, Mayor of Frankfurt am Main, Germany

(Innovation in Politics Awards Finalist 2019)