Today we share with you an exciting opportunity concerning the European Innovation Lab – A European workshop and competition for the (further) development of digital formal participation approaches in the European Union.


“Digital Public Participation is a vital element of modern democracy. Especially when it comes to infrastructural projects such as power plants, factories or railway networks, the whole society is affected. Therefore, EU legislation provides for a comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), where everyone can contribute their needs and expertise. Authorities are therefore obliged to publish the information on the planned projects and offer online EIA portals. 

With the ongoing COVID-19 crisis the crucial importance of an effective and efficient design of digital processes is more evident than ever. Existing processes need to be rethought and translated into the digital age. Yet the obligatory implementation of EIA portals for public participation in the EU member states could not be more fragmented – which often leads to frustration. 

As the design of such a digital participation platform requires a more complex and interdisciplinary approach, the Independent Institute for Environmental Issues invites young professionals from the European Union to take part in a European Innovation Lab to design a platform that meets the demands and goals of modern digital public participation. You will furthermore be able to improve your knowledge and to broaden your network while presenting your ideas for the portals of tomorrow to an audience of renowned experts and decision makers. The best concepts will be awarded: 1st Prize – 1250 €, 2nd Prize – 1000 €, 3rd Prize – 750 €. 


Phase 1: Kick-off-workshop – 20th of May 2022 (online) 

The participants will be introduced to digital public participation in the European Union and especially dive into the legal basis and requirements of EIA platforms. The practicability and design of existing websites will be discussed. You will get to know other participants and have the chance to form alliances for the competition. 

Phase 2: The Contest Deadline – 31st of August 2022 

After being equipped with the essentials, you now have four months to develop your own concepts for a digital participation platform. The goal is to design a platform that is compatible with EU guidelines. However, it is up to you to decide on how you would like to create and implement your ideas. Out of all submissions, a jury of internationally known experts will select three finalists. 

Phase 3: The Second Workshop – 16th of September 2022 (online) 

In the final workshop, all participants come together with an interdisciplinary expert audience to share their experiences and knowledge. Highlight of the event will be the award ceremony. The three finalists have the opportunity to present and discuss their designs before the final winner is announced. 

Admission requirements 

Participation is open to young professionals (ideally between 25-35 years of age) who are studying or residing in one of the 27 EU member states. Participants are expected to have experience in relevant disciplines such as web design, graphic design, communicative design, sociology, administrative law, environmental planning, urban development or spacial planning. Participants with expertise in related fields who feel motivated to participate are welcome to register as well. All participants will be given a certificate of participation. 

Registration is possible until 16th of May 2022. 

Please submit your registration via https://www.ufu.de/en/european-innovation-lab/ 

For further questions, send us an e-mail to: aarhus-strong-project@ufu.de”

Source: Independent Institute for Environmental Issues (UfU e.V.) 

Photo: Porapak Apichodilok via Pexels

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