Jan ÅmanJob title: Curator, activist, consultant in urban, food and social development
Organisation Name: Duved Framtid
Entrepreneur Jan Åman has supported the development of a digital tool to empower citizens and promote social innovation in local communities. Jan Åman, who serves as the creative director for the development of Duved, a small village in northern Sweden, has now supported to launch of the Democracy Tool to enhance citizen participation in the development of their local community.
The Democracy Tool is linked to a process of physical workshops taking place on top of a large aerial photograph of the community. Citizens, along with public servants, politicians, and businesses, come together to develop solutions for the local community. Through the tool, the workshops – Village Meetings – are transformed into a continuous and constantly ongoing village meeting, where ideas are connected to coordinates on the map and shown as actual possibilities in the village.
Both ideas and needs are placed on the map and tagged with a time stamp, with both time of day and time of year, as different geographical positions require different solutions depending on the weather. The tool is designed to enhance the citizen's possibility to have an increased influence on the development of their local community.
The Democracy Tool was recently used in the Norrlandsmodellen project, where the experience from Duved was applied to the city of Umeå in Sweden. The project aimed to promote social innovation in the region, and the tool proved to be a successful way to engage citizens and promote their participation in the development of their local community.
The Democracy Tool is a promising example of how digital solutions can enhance citizen participation and promote social innovation in local communities. The tool is expected to be adopted by other communities across Sweden and potentially beyond.