CEC WEEKLY TIES – Active civic participation in Denmark
Every semester, I ask students in my class, “How many of you read the news daily?” Three or four hands go up from a cohort of about 40 students. Caring and being connected to the neighborhoods, cities, and the world in which one lives is instrumental to the creation of Culturally Enriched Communities, healthy and connected communities in which everyone can thrive. The question is how do we become socially responsible global citizens, ones who recognize the interconnectedness of today’s world and flourish by living engaged lives?
In this month’s CEC Connects, Bo Christiansen, Founder of Scaledenmark, builds on CEC Weekly Ties – Lessons from Copenhagen. In “The Welfare State 2.0 – Co-creating a new citizen-driven future,” he shares their efforts to found Sharinggentofte, “a citizen-driven, non-political platform for local residents to share ideas, resources, talents and services to create space for greater community participation and improved municipal decision-making.” Christiansen posits that “…..social responsibility and decision-making cannot rest solely with politicians. We all have a responsibility as a stakeholder in our community to promote health, equity, and dignity.”
Both the pandemic and the global call for racial justice are unprecedented and responding to these times cannot be done without an introspection as to who we are, how we came to be, and who we want to become, including how we will work toward an active form of civic participation. We look forward to hearing your thoughts on Christiansen’s call to action.
Tasoulla Hadjiyanni, Editor
Excerpt from Bo Christiansen’s “The Welfare State 2.0 – Co-creating a new citizen-driven future”
“We are proud that one of our early initiatives, ‘Byens Hus’ (The City House) has become an official municipal-endorsed program for volunteer and citizen-centered initiatives. When a previous international school needed new life and new tenants to fill its empty classrooms and hallways, the municipality repurposed part of the former school building with temporary refugee housing alongside Gentofte’s Volunteer Center, an organization assisting with integration and immigration challenges. We saw a ‘too good to be true’ opportunity to transform the neighboring spaces within the building complex to support and inspire community-engagement, as well as encourage local residents to meet and connect with the newest Danish citizens under the same roof.”
Image credit: Kim Matthai Leland