Re-imagining democratic systems

Through ‘Changemakers for Democracy’ we connect, support and amplify the work of people who represent ideas, innovations, movements and collectives in Europe which build imaginative and transformative futures for our current democratic and economic systems.

What do we do

This 12-month Fellowship currently supports 16 Europe-based practitioners and representatives of innovations, movements and collectives working on democratic renewal and new economic paradigms.
This 12-month Fellowship currently supports 16 Europe-based practitioners and representatives of innovations, movements and collectives working on democratic renewal and new economic paradigms.

The Changemakers For Democracy Fellows

At the heart of Changemakers For Democracy is 16 representatives from 15 initiatives from across Europe who actively work towards shaping a more just and inclusive democratic and economic future for the continent. See below who they are, and what they work on.
Agora Infantil
Building the foundation for a healthier democracy through active participation in childhood. Through this program we empower young people to develop essential skills like critical thinking, respectful dialogue, and collaborative decision-making, ultimately combating potential trends of mistrust and disengagement.

Andrés Falck • Spain
As a passionate advocate for participatory democracy for over a decade, I co-founded Coglobal and dedicated myself to creating inclusive spaces for diverse voices to be heard. Witnessing the impact of the World Social Forum, I saw the potential for children to actively shape their communities. In 2013, alongside a team of experts, we developed Agora Infantil, a program that has already empowered thousands of young minds to become active participants in their local democracies.

Our Ombudsman
Bridging the gap between citizens and the Polish Ombudsman. We provide a platform for individuals and groups to raise concerns and propose solutions, fostering a culture of active participation and social change.

Anna Duniewicz • Poland
As a passionate advocate for human rights, I co-founded “Our Ombudsman” Initiative and “We Want All of Life” to empower citizens and protect vulnerable groups. Witnessing the impact of our work, like successfully challenging discriminatory policies, motivates me to keep fighting for a just and equitable society.

Education, Democracy & Belonging in the 21st Century.
Building a framework for a just and equitable world. Through international collaboration and research, we empower communities and youth to critically engage with democracy and work towards a more inclusive future.”

Chisom Udeze • Norway
As a Black woman leader, I’ve dedicated my career to bridging the economic and social divides within democracies. Through initiatives like Diversify Nordics, I strive to amplify diverse voices and work towards a world where everyone feels they belong.

Creating a media landscape that reflects our society. We strive for 27% of influential media positions held by BIPOC individuals, fostering trust and dismantling exclusive norms.

Esra Karakaya • Germany
As a community organizer, I founded KARAKAYA TALKS to address the underrepresentation of Muslim and Asian German communities in media. We create authentic connections, empowering BIPOC media makers to transform the industry.

Untitled design
Empowering neighborhoods to shape their future. By democratizing access to resources and knowledge, we help communities build a more just and sustainable future, from their streets to the city as a whole.

Imandeep Kaur • UK
As co-founder of CIVIC SQUARE, I’m passionate about working alongside communities to create positive change. We combine local action with global vision, showing how neighborhood initiatives can lead to societal progress.

Power, Participation and Voice Network
Empowering citizens to shape their communities. We believe everyone should have a say in the decisions that affect them. We work to connect and amplify the voices of those working for a more inclusive and democratic UK.

Jessie Jacobs • UK
As Director of the Democracy Network, I’m passionate about tackling the democratic deficit in the UK. I’ve spent years working with marginalized communities and advocating for citizen-led solutions. Together, we can build a stronger and more inclusive democracy for all.

Empowering a global movement for change. Our website serves as a hub for activists, researchers, and curious minds, fostering dialogue and collaboration around degrowth principles.

Joëlle Saey-Volckrick • France
As a degrowth advocate, I strive to connect academic knowledge with grassroots activism. I co-manage, encouraging critical reflection and collaborative action towards a just and sustainable future.

Citizens’ assemblies for a just city
Building a more inclusive future for Serbian cities. Through experimentation and education, through this initiative we work to transform how decisions are made, ensuring citizens have a say in shaping their communities.

Jovana Timotijević • Serbia
As Program Coordinator for Deliberative Democracy in Urban Development, I’m passionate about using citizen assemblies to empower communities and promote social justice. I believe everyone deserves a voice in shaping the city they live in.

Building a more inclusive cultural landscape. Oyoun fosters dialogue and collaboration between artists, activists, and thinkers, promoting social change and a more equitable future.

Louna Sbou • Germany
Managing director, curator, and cultural producer. Driven by intersectionality and decoloniality, I challenge the status quo and advocate for an inclusive future.

Not In Our Town
Empowering citizens and uniting communities. Through community meetings and training sessions, in Not In Our Town Slovakia we equip individuals with the tools and knowledge to advocate for change and build a more inclusive society.

Maroš Chmelík • Slovakia
As a Slovak who returned home to find a changing society, I’m dedicated to promoting human dignity and respect for all. I believe in the power of community organizing and personal stories to bridge divides and build a stronger, more democratic Slovakia.

Untitled design
Building a more inclusive cultural landscape. Oyoun fosters dialogue and collaboration between artists, activists, and thinkers, promoting social change and a more equitable future.

Nina Martin • Germany
Social entrepreneur, researcher, and cultural actor. My vision is for true pluralistic neighborhoods, informed by their family history and diverse experiences.

Less is more
Shifting the advertising landscape. In Less is More we advocate for a paradigm shift, recognizing the ecological and societal impacts of advertising beyond its economic function.

Renaud Fossard • France
As a communications expert, I witnessed the power of media firsthand. Combining my legal background with my passion for responsible communication, I strive to create a more sustainable future through evidence-based advocacy.

Konzeptwerk Neue Ökonomie
Building a just and sustainable economy. Through Konzeptwerk Neue Ökonomie we support local struggles for ownership of land and energy infrastructure, aiming to connect them to broader goals of economic democracy and social transformation.

Sina Reisch • Germany
As a climate activist, I witnessed the limitations of purely protest-based strategies. Now, I work to develop new economic models, like socializing infrastructure, to address the root causes of the climate crisis and empower communities.

Tej Gonza. Španski borci, 17.3.2022
The Institute for Economic Democracy (IED)
Building a more democratic workplace. In IED we offer technical assistance, policy proposals, and international collaboration to support employee ownership and worker empowerment. Our “European ESOP” model offers an alternative to traditional private equity buyouts during business succession.

Tej Gonza • Slovenia
Drawn to democratic principles in business, I co-founded the IED and dedicate my research and activism to realizing worker ownership models. I believe this approach empowers workers, promotes social sustainability, and fosters a fairer economic system.

Platform for Citizens’ Assemblies Czechia (Platforma pro občanská shromáždění)
The platform works towards this goal through a three-pronged strategy. We advocate to decision-makers to adopt citizens’ assemblies at various governance levels, building partnerships like the one with the Czech Government Office for a nationwide assembly addressing family and child poverty. We also focus on capacity building, training NGOs and organizations in best practices for deliberation and assembly implementation. Finally, we raise public awareness through talks, simulations, and a documentary film, aiming to cultivate a broader understanding of citizens’ assemblies in Czech society.

Žofie Hobzíková • Czech Republic
Driven by a desire to tackle societal challenges, I co-founded this platform to promote citizens’ assemblies. I believe in fostering democratic participation and empowering individuals to contribute to a more just and sustainable future.

The Advisory Committee of the Changemakers for Democracy Programme

Nani_Jansen_by_Tetsuro_Miyazaki_A69A2558_Advisory Committee CM4D
Nani is an internationally recognised human rights lawyer specialised in strategic litigation at the intersection of human rights, social justice, and technology.
Nani Jansen Reventlow (she/her), Systemic Justice
Indy Johar_Advisory Committee CM4D
Indy is co-founder of Dark Matter Labs and of the RIBA award winning architecture and urban practice Architecture00.
Indy Johar, Dark Matter Labs
Martha Mackenzie__Advisory Committee CM4D
Martha is Executive Director of the Civic Power Fund, the UK’s first Fund dedicated to community organising.
Martha Mackenzie, Civic Power Fund
Alberto Alemanno is the Jean Monnet Professor of European Union Law & Policy at HEC Paris and at the College of Europe, Bruges. He also is the founder of The Good Lobby.
Alberto Alemanno (he/him), Good Lobby
Romy Kraemer_Advisory Committee CM4D
Romy is the Managing Director of the Guerrilla Foundation, a member of Leap Collective, and on the advisory board of Arising Quo.
Romy Krämer (she/her), Guerilla Foundation
Laura Batalla__Advisory Committee CM4D
Laura leads Ashoka’s Changemaker Europe initiative, dedicated to cultivating a transformative perspective on democracy and civic participation.
Laura Batalla Adam (she/her) – Ashoka
Claudia Chwalisz_Advisory Committee CM4D
Claudia is the Founder and CEO of DemocracyNext, an international non-profit, non-partisan research and action institute that champions Citizens’ Assemblies as a way of citizen-led decision-making.
Claudia Chwalisz (she/her) – DemocracyNext
Alba Gutierrez
Alba is a Program Manager at The European Program of the Open Society Foundations with a focus on efforts regarding Democratic Renewal.
Alba Gutierrez (she/her)

The people behind the programme

Juan Francisco Baron
Juan is the Project Lead for Changemakers for Democracy and brings his facilitation and project management skills and background in arts, culture and democratic innovation to this programme.
Juan Francisco Barón Gandia (he/him), Lead
Jacklina is a facilitator for the Changemakers for Democracy Summit and brings many years of experience in creating participatory and productive spaces for collective impact to the programme.
Jacklina Eshaya (she/her), Facilitator
Isa is a facilitator for the Changemakers for Democracy Summit and brings extensive experience in hosting groups and supporting them to create collective impact to this programme.
Isabel Glaser (she/her), Facilitator
Portrait Miriam Sweeney
Miriam is the overall programmes lead at ChangemakerXchange and brings her community building and activism campaigns experience to this Fellowship.
Miriam Sweeney (she/they), Co-Lead
Bukola (Bukky) is an expert working on political risk advisory, human rights and public policy – she’s contributing to the programme as an interviewer of Fellow candidates.
Bukola Bolarinwa (she/her), Interviewer
Portrait Matthias Scheffelmeier
Matthias is a member of the core team at ChangemakerXchange and brings 15 years of experience in supporting social entrepreneurs, activists and changemakers to this programme.
Matthias Scheffelmeier (he/him), Co-Lead
CXC Headshot – Mubarak Idris
Mubarak is ChangemakerXchange’s Storyteller and brings his experience in building and managing digital campaigns through multimedia to promote social justice and gender equality to this programme.
Mubarak Idris (he/him), Storytelling and Social Media
Portrait Nadya Saib
Nadya creates beautiful communication for ChangemakerXchange and brings her content production, facilitation and wellbeing ‘superpowers’ to this programme.
Nadya Saib (she/her), Commmunications
Esmat Elsayed
Esmat is an expert in advocacy, debate, and dialogue and works on migration, human rights and freedom of speech – she’s contributing to the programme as an interviewer of Fellow candidates.
Esmat Elsayed (she/her) – Interviewer
Yelyzaveta Glybchenko • CXC Online Summit 2021 Europe & MENA
Lisa is a Ukrainian peace and democracy entrepreneur with a passion for education & digital media arts – she contributes to the programme as a researcher for potential Fellows.
Yelyzaveta (Lisa) Glybchenko (she/her), Researcher
Portrait Anouk Siegrist
Anouk is the Finance & Operations Lead at ChangemakerXchange. She brings extensive experience in finance management from working with food waste social enterprise SIRPLUS and CXC.
Anouk Siegrist (she/her/they), Finance
Portrait Greta Rossi
Greta is a Co-Founder of ChangemakerXchange and supports the programme by designing learning experiences (incl. the 5 day summit) and selecting / coordinating the team of facilitators and trainers.
Greta Rossi (she/her) – Facilitation
Nick McGirl
Nick is the Co-founder and Managing Director of ChangemakerXchange. His background straddles multiple countries and has been at the intersection of social innovation and education for over 10 years.
Nick McGirl (he/him) – Partnerships
OST2 Climate Action MENA 2022_Chico Shaaban
Let’s re-imagine democratic and economic systems in Europe, together!