Happy Friday, dear readers!

We hope you’re unwinding on a beach or tasting wine in a charming French village. But in case you’re not, we have a brand-new selection of interesting civic tech reads to ease the pain.

As always, you can find our previous selections on our blog. But if you’re all up to date, let’s dive into what’s new! This week, we’re talking about deliberative democracy, the pro-democracy protests taking Moscow by storm, Japan as a green role model in Asia, and how to make an impact as a government official.

Deliberative democracy is just what politics needs” by The Financial Times

“The core of the deliberative democracy tradition (…) is that democratic citizens better fulfil their role as the ultimate source of sovereignty when they inform themselves and elaborate their views in the presence of their peers.” This opinion piece makes the case for deliberative democracy in a world that’s becoming increasingly more polarised.

Raising the level of debate and organising constructive conversation between citizens with different perspectives can make a considerable impact. It can help to tackle the “us and them”-feeling that characterises many polarised societies. A must-read for everyone who believes in good, old-fashioned, face-to-face conversation.

The pro-democracy protests rocking Moscow, explained” by Vox

The city of Moscow is currently the setting of large pro-democracy protests demanding fairer elections. This surge of protest arose after Moscow election officials banned opposition candidates from running for city council. This article offers an in-depth view of the context of the protests and links it to the broader political situation in Russia.

“Moscow’s municipal elections are very much the focus of these protests, but it’s hard to divorce it completely from larger political and economic issues within Russia, specifically President Vladimir Putin’s authoritarian regime,” states the article. A must-read for democracy enthusiasts across the globe who want to stay informed.

A model city in Japan is helping Asian cities go green” by UN Environment

Ever heard of the city of Kitakyushu? Maybe you haven’t, but here’s why you should. Only a few decades ago, “economic miracle” Kitakyushu was so polluted that its bay was called “The Sea of Death”. Its residents suffered severe health problems. The situation was so bleak that the women’s movement started a campaign “to bring back blue skies.”

But in the plot twist of the century, Kitakyushu has now become Japan’s first “eco-town”. Its bay is full of marine life, its skies are blue, and its residents are happy and healthy – and for that, the city has received global praise. How did they do it? And what can we learn from them? This article dives deeper into Kitakyushu’s story. A must-read for everyone who thinks that it’s too late to do better.

New in government? Here’s how to succeed and make an impact” by Apolitical

Most new city administrators or public servants start their trajectory full of enthusiasm, new ideas and will to make a change. Some stay that way, but most quickly become frustrated, lack a feeling of appreciation and decide to change course. That’s a shame. Because if there’s one area that really needs motivated people, it’s public services.

This article explores how public servants can truly make an impact. It even offers 3 tips for public servants to accelerate their careers. A must-read for everyone who works in city council or public services, and is determined to make a change.

That’s it for this week! If you’re looking for more, download our comprehensive e-guides on participatory budgeting or inclusion in e-democracy, or contact our experts to get started with digital participation in your city!

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