Doing Democracy: How Social Entrepreneurs Bridge Divides, Fight Apathy and Strengthen Civil Liberties

Doing Democracy
Source: Alexandra Ioan
WHAT does an organization that brings people together to do arts and crafts and an organization uniting mothers to address extremism have in common? They both work to systemically change the way we do democracy. Democracy is a skill that must be constantly practiced, or it becomes severely weakened.

The bottom line is this: Everyone can practice democracy from where they are today and we all need to go beyond traditional forms of democratic participation if we are to stop democracy from eroding further.

The study is based on our analysis of 25 leading social entrepreneurs who are Ashoka Fellows that work to strengthen democracy. They reveal how democratic ideals must be dispersed throughout all levels of their work to promote a society based on democratic values. 

The study outlines seven strategies decision-makers in the civil and business sectors as well as private citizens can do to strengthen democracy.

Each strategy has calls to action for civic and business leaders as well as citizens.

This study is a follow-up deep dive from our previous study Creative Solutions for Changing Times. The Approaches of Social Entrepreneurs to Europe's most Pressing Challenges.

That study served as a broader landscape analysis of Ashoka Fellows working to solve important issues in Europe through social innovation. 

Doing Democracy laterally connects the seemingly disparate work of Fellows working in areas such as education, use of technology, integration, migration and civic engagement to reveal how they all work to strengthen democracy.

We thank Zalando as the main partner supporting this study.