As mayor Penn-te Strake indicated in her New Year’s speech, “the government as the all knowing and all decisive institute is no longer the obvious concept. The participation society is beginning to take shape!”.
A healthy development
In our opinion this is a healthy development. Participation and co-creation ensures that a municipality “directly taps from the source.” The government has insight into trends and can thus respond quickly to current issues. In addition, it promotes the bond between government and citizens. But this development raises questions for the government such as:
• How do we obtain concrete insight into the needs and wishes of our people?
• How do we bridge the gap between government and citizens?
• How will the citizens react to future decisions?
Confirmation from the market
As a market research and consulting company with a focus on optimizing political involvement and civic participation, we can confirm the rise of this development in the market. For example, we recently spoke with Mayor Robeyns of the municipality Wellen. As a very involved mayor, she has a very unique approach in this regard. Another example is mayor Partyka of the municipality of Tienen who focusses substantially on co-creation. Through co-creation, the municipality made a multi-year plan for 2016-2021 with the motto “Together for a proud Tienen tomorrow”.
Participation made possible by innovative technology
This new concept, which gives the citizens more responsibility, requires flexibility and innovative ways to communicate. Citizens want to participate, but it has to be practical. Survey’s, Research panels and Communities can provide a solution in this regard. Simply because they are online accessible 24/7 and auto-responsive from all mobile devices.
We are happy to support this beautiful development with our online services! But we wondered whether only female mayors are so progressive…… what is your opinion?