Heraklion DEMOSCOPIO: A vision for democracy, cooperation and dialogue

During the first half of this year, it is expected to open the Heraklion Demoskopio, which is a new institution that is launched by the municipality of Heraklion in Crete, Greece, in order to engage the stakeholders of the city in open and focused dialogues relevant to the definition and resolution of complex issues. The Demoskopio will offer citizens, researchers, entrepreneurs, scientists, educational institutions, collective bodies, the opportunity to collaborate effectively in designing innovative solutions to a variety of challenges facing the city leadership.

(See also the decision of the City Council here: [[blog:https://yperdiavgeia.gr/c64f0986-b9b2-442d-a65f-555c7ac2d643|https://yperdiavgeia.gr/c64f0986-b9b2-442d-a65f-555c7ac2d643]]

Read the original idea as formulated and submitted to the Municipality of Heraklion by the Social Systems Design Professor, Dr. Alexander N. Christakis, and the independent journalist Maria Kakoulaki here: **http://leregardcretois.blogspot.com/2015/03/blog-post_8.html**

More specifically, the Demoscopio, as indicated in the decision of the City Council, aims at listening to citizens and entrepreneurs, whose voices are never heard on issues that concern them, so that they will be able to converse on equal terms with other actors in society, and to share opinions, proposals, visions for the future of the city. Also groups of students who have creative ideas and want to turn them into viable businesses or products, or to improve the social environment, can display and promote their plans through the Demoskopio capability and facility. Furthermore, it will provide support to volunteer groups, educational and research institutions wishing to co-design practices and innovations, as well as exhibits and museum spaces.
According to officials of the municipality, the economic crisis Greece experiencing today, is affecting Greek cities dramatically, reducing the available financial resources and manpower, and increasing social security and support needs. This crisis has particularly affected young people, with unemployment rates have soared sharply from 2007 onwards.
The Municipality of Heraklion intends to contribute to addressing this reality through the institution of the Demoskopio that comes to encourage and develop a culture of social dialogue, cooperation, development, innovation, and entrepreneurship, particularly among young people. It has been observed that in recent years a wave of young people with talents and skills, that exploit new technologies for services and products, need support in translating their ideas into viable businesses. This is the reason for the creation of the Demoskopio, which will act as a node in a social network for generating ideas, innovation, and entrepreneurship.
The Demoskopio will provide three main types of services. The first category concerns the application of Structured Democratic Dialogue (SDD) for the design and promotion of social and business cooperation, consensus and networking with the wide involvement and participation of all perspectives. The second category concerns the business interconnection services, which include the participation of young people in innovation competitions, entrepreneurship and mentoring workshop. The third category concerns business acceleration consulting and support services.
[Official publication of the decision in the "stepfather" newspaper, 01.02.15] //http://www.patris.gr/articles/294026?PHPSESSID=#.VvmyX8eMAcg//