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Discover DUST 12: Exploring Sister and Related Projects

DUST is part of a dynamic network within the EU Horizon initiative, joining forces with sister projects united by a shared mission: to expand democracy and civic participation in Europe. Projects like INCITE-DEM, RESPONSIVE, and ORBIS are all committed to increase civic engagement and co-creation in democratic processes, ensuring that every voice, especially those from marginalised communities, is heard. From grassroots efforts in local neighbourhoods to impactful initiatives on the European stage, this cluster is dedicated to fostering a more inclusive and participatory democracy for all. Keep reading to delve deeper into these sister projects and other related initiatives! 


INCITE-DEM: Inclusive Citizenship in a world in Transformation: Co-Designing for Democracy 

In a world grappling with multifaceted crises, INCITE-DEM: Citizens Reinventing Democracy rises to the challenge by enhancing inclusive participation and civic engagement across Europe. Through the establishment of Democracy Labs in six countries, INCITE-DEM pioneers innovative democratic processes, fostering dynamic feedback between citizens and institutions. With a focus on empowering citizens and building trust, this initiative aims to shape a sustainable, inclusive, and innovative democratic future on a global scale. 


RESPONSIVE: Increasing responsiveness to citizen voice in social services across Europe 

RESPONSIVE seeks to elevate the impact of citizen voices in shaping critical social services, including disability and mental health support, child protection, and services for at-risk youth. Recognising the complex lives of individuals who often interact with multiple services, the project focuses on areas vital to European policy agendas, such as family life, disability rights, mental health, and social inclusion. By nurturing collaboration between citizens, social services, and EU policy structures, RESPONSIVE strives to harness citizen knowledge and experiences to improve essential services. 


ORBIS: Augmenting participation, co-creation, trust and transparency in Deliberative Democracy at all scales 

ORBIS responds to the challenges facing contemporary democracy by emphasising participation, engagement, transparency, accountability, and dialogue between the public and institutions. By bridging the gap between citizens and policymakers, ORBIS offers practical socio-technical solutions to foster a more inclusive, transparent, and trustworthy democracy in Europe. 


Related Projects 

In addition to its sister projects, DUST is actively engaging with other international and national initiatives. For instance, DUST closely collaborates with the BOLSTER project to develop participatory tools that enhance acceptance of climate transition strategies, especially among marginalised groups. This collaboration enriches DUST's efforts in promoting inclusive participation. Furthermore, DUST incorporates insights from the TRACER project, which focuses on designing Research and Innovation (R&I) strategies in coal-intensive European regions, to inform its research on just sustainability transitions. 


DUST leverages cutting-edge tools and insights from various national projects to enhance democratic participation. For example, it adapts the Actor-Process Event Scheme (APES) software tool to better evaluate stakeholder involvement in policy processes. Additionally, DUST integrates lessons from the DIGI PART INDX project to create a comprehensive multi-level participation assessment index. Findings from Fokus AG's regional mixed-mode surveys are also used to refine citizen surveys within DUST.  

Furthermore, DUST incorporates insights from several pioneering projects to enhance democratic participation and regional design. From +CityxChange, it adopts regional design and engagement strategies. ImagiDem informs DUST's visualisation methods with its focus on young Europeans' participation, while lessons from DESIGNSCAPES on co-creation and local knowledge are integrated into DUST’s experiments. The DIALOGUES project contributes citizen-centred lab approaches, and WeGovNow’s digital co-creation technologies support DUST's tools. Similarly, findings from COHESIFY, DEMOTEC, ESPON COMPASS, feed into DUST’s analysis of citizens’ perceptions of sustainability policies, citizen participation in deliberative governance, e-democracy, and place-based policies. 


DUST also taps into valuable insights from SHERPA, which constructs rural policy recommendations through multi-actor platforms (MAPs). Drawing from this, DUST refines its approaches to dialogue with citizens, stakeholders, policymakers, and scientists. Additionally, DUST benefits from lessons learned in the co-creation of spatial circular economy strategies through the REPAiR project. Specifically, it adopts a design-oriented living-lab approach and integrates effective dissemination strategies and education initiatives. These collaborations are instrumental in advancing DUST's mission of fostering inclusive and innovative democratic practices. 


DUST thrives within an interconnected web of sister and related projects, each contributing to the advancement of inclusive and innovative democratic practices. Through collaboration and knowledge exchange, these initiatives are collectively shaping the future of democracy in Europe. Follow us on social media to find out more! 


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