Ashoka Fellow
Switzerland
Fellow Since 2016

In Switzerland and beyond, the knowledge and innovative ideas of skilled young citizens find little access to political decision-making. This creates a significant discrepancy between political decisions and the desires and ideas of young citizens. Nicola responds to this problem by developing foraus, a unique grassroots “think and do-tank” that crowd-sources ideas for political change from young citizens. By doing so, he is supplying the political system with fresh, innovative ideas and combating the political apathy of young people by turning them into changemakers of traditional political systems.

This description of Nicola Forster's work was prepared when Nicola Forster was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2016.
Introduction
The knowledge and innovative ideas of thousands of skilled young citizens find little access to political decision-making, thus creating a significant discrepancy between political decisions and the desires and ideas of young citizens. Nicola responds to this problem by turning the traditional concept of a political “think tank” on its head. His organization, foraus, engages a network of young political changemakers who, through a specific process and methodology, are empowered to bring their voices and fresh ideas into Switzerland’s old-fashioned and rigid political system, leading to concrete political action. Nicola’s vision is to turn people from all walks of life into political changemakers and to enable them to contribute to the transformation of political processes – not only of states, but also of supranational organisations like the E.U., U.N.
The New Idea
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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