Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy
12 October 2023

Time for stocktaking: renewing local democracy through and with youth

A policy workshop welcoming activists and local policymakers, and preceded by a public event, opened AHCD’s Democracy Week program.

On 4 October, the Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy hosted a one-day policy workshop with over 25 activists and policymakers on the theme of “renewing local democracy through and with youth”.

The workshop, conducted as part of a research project entitled Protest And Engagement, From The Global To The Local: Mapping The Forms Of Youth Participation In Europe, gathered representatives from cities in the four countries the project focuses on – Spain, France, Switzerland, and Italy. These engaged in lively discussions with youth activists from movements such as Extinction Rebellion and Fridays for Future, who are active in the same cities. 

The workshop specifically sought to shed light on how local youth participation can be redesigned for youth voices to be heard in an inclusive and sustainable way. Against a backdrop of disenchantment with democracy, cities and local levels of governance have indeed emerged as central spaces to find solutions to the demands of citizens, and youth-led movements, in pluralistic societies.

The workshop was divided into three roundtables: the first on activism, the second on democratic innovations, and the third on social policies.

The workshop was preceded, on Tuesday 3 October, by a public event featuring Deputy Mayor of Geneva Christina Kitsos and Deputy Mayor of Rome Andrea Tobia Zevi opened AHCD’s program for Democracy Week. It took place against the backdrop of the Forum of Mayors and aimed to explore synergies between the two events.