With its programme “Participation in Border Regions”, the Robert Bosch Stiftung promotes civic participation measures in German regions having a border with neighbouring countries. The programme strengthens local structures and cross-border networks that promote active citizenship and democracy. ‘Participation in border regions’ further contributes to enhancing cohesion in Europe.

The nexus Institute supports the programme’s development, the call for proposals, the acquisition of promising applications, and accompanies the eight selected model regions as a competent partner for the design of successful civic participation. The nexus Institute takes into account the special challenges of border regions (different competences, languages, cultures, needs and experiences) and facilitates good participatory quality. This includes, in particular, ensuring that the results of citizen participations find their way into politics and administrative practice.

Furthermore, the nexus Institute supports the involved model regions in establishing long-term participation structures and organises qualification measures and networking events for the participating actors.

Within the project, the nexus Institute performs the following tasks:

  • being the central point of contact for the Robert Bosch Stiftung and ensuring excellent communication between the partners and the AG
  • preparing the content for and organising the call for proposals which includes conducting a creativity workshop based on the Design-Thinking-Method
  • being the central point of contact for the border regions (and process facilitators), being on site at regular intervals, working multilingually
  • achieving high qualitative standards for citizen participation in the project and helping to develop innovative participation ideas tailored to the needs of the different regions
  • driving innovation within the cooperation (e.g. by developing a scenario workshop in each region at the beginning of the project to make flourish common understandings of good futures)
  • coordinating the transfer of knowledge and experiences between border regions
  • making use of and further developing existing cooperation structures and networks
  • supporting the scientific monitoring and data collection (interviews, surveys, etc.)
  • creating stable, trusting, cordial border relations while inducing admiration for public engagement in project partners by being enthusiastic for the opportunities of citizen participation
  • helping to develop a common, value-oriented framework that is binding, e.g. peaceful, dialogue-oriented cooperation

Duration: 06/2021 – 03/2025
Client: Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH Stuttgart
Team: Christiane Dienel/Kerstin Franzl (project management), Nicolas Bach, Thomas Blanchet, Karoline Pfeiffer

Logo: Goldener Westen – Design Agency