Participation Paradox

A number of uncomfortable paradoxes hinder the full cooperation relationship between citizens and local governments. There are several obstacles in the interactions between citizens and local governments. Those are persistent and have the form of a paradox, an apparent contradiction. Paradoxes are tough and maintain problems. A natural immune response would be to ignore them. We advocate a different approach. Embrace the uncomfortable paradox as the beginning of your participation-ambition and play with it, in a co-creation process between citizens and government. It is our experience that the mutual understanding increases and in many cases people will find unexpected solutions. Commissioned by the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations in The Netherlands we created the Partipation Paradox Atelier. Therefore, we had a look at three trendsetting municipalities, supplemented with a research in 15 other municipalities and corporations which were visited in the project called Mayborhood. By embracing the participation paradoxes an important step is taken to pursuit the necessary full relationship between the decision-making government and the participating citizen. The Participation Paradox Studio is developed by IsOok, Twynstra Gudde and Studio Goudswaard.