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Campaign weekend for the democracy

When the International Youth Think Tank (IYTT) visited the cradle of democracy in Athens last autumn, a simple and concrete method was born, Open Chair Democracy Talks. It gives voice to citizens and - at the same time - new ideas for the think tank. April 1-3, IYTT launches a campaign on a global scale: Youth Fellows will conduct talks in 19 cities in Europe and in one in North America.

Michele Castrezzati, together with two others of think tank's Youth Fellows, came up with the idea of ​​placing two chairs in one of Athens' most visited squares. Passers-by were invited to short but intense conversations about democracy. The concept - called Open Chair Democracy Talks (OCDT) - was a success.

The European cities participating in the "campaign weekend" are Frankfurt, Ghent, Grenoble, Gothenburg, Hamburg, Istanbul, Joensuu, Kristiansand, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Newcastle, Riga, Salamanca, Sofia, Stockholm, Tirana, Warsaw and Aarhus. In the United States, there will be OCDT in Charleston. The method has previously been tested in Gothenburg and Moscow.

April 1-3 will be the first time such an extensive scale of Open Chair Democracy Talks is held.

"These conversations are not only a valuable source of inspiration for think tank work” says IYTT's director Urban Strandberg. "But also, perhaps, more importantly, it gives ordinary people an opportunity to express themselves. We want to show how easy it is to give people a voice." 

You can follow IYTT's campaign during the weekend on social media via @iythinktank. The results of the talks will also be published on A special lunch event, in the think tank series Lindholmen Democracy Talks, will be dedicated to the campaign. It will be April 20.

Läs mer om Open Chair Democracy Talks:

Se IYTT:s film om metoden:
giving voice to