It is an honour to share that Arantzazulab has been accepted in the Democracy R&D network. This is an international network of organisations, associations, and individuals working collaboratively to develop, implement, and promote ways to improve democracy, from the local to the global level. There are 55 members located in 43 countries across the globe.
The Democracy R&D network gathers and connects international experts and practitioners on Deliberative Democracy. Being part of it will give us the opportunity to connect to the knowledge, practice, and experts in this field. From Arantzazulab we are willing to share the examples and lessons learned in the processes we are promoting in our region.
Arantzazulab is a space designed for reflection and innovative experimentation on the future and the challenges facing Basque society. The main goal of the lab is to lead the development of collaborative governance knowledge in the Basque Country. The integration of society in the deliberative process requires the development of new spaces for co-creation, deliberation, and shared action, and research into and experimentation with new instruments, organisational models, and methodologies. This is indeed the remit of Arantzazulab as a social innovation laboratory: researching and experimenting with new forms of relationship and cooperation between governments and civil society to co-create a new agenda. We need new instruments and mechanisms that promote the participation and empowerment of civil society in the public agenda. In this regard, we believe that deliberative democracy will be a fundamental pillar to activate the change we are seeking to bring about.
In 2022 we have promoted and implement two citizens’ assemblies to build local capabilities and raise awareness on the opportunities that this approach can create. In 2023 we will design the processes and approaches to institutionalise Deliberative Democracy in the Basque Country, we will work alongside the local teams that have been involved in designing as well as implementing these two Citizens’ Assemblies, and the international stakeholders that have supported us in this journey.