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The University of Southampton
Politics and International RelationsPart of Economic, Social and Political Science

Dr. Spada participates in the kick-off of the Phoenix project

Published: 6 March 2022
Phoenix Project

Dr. Paolo Spada co-wrote an HORIZON2020 that was awarded 5 million Euros in the summer 2021. The project officially begun in early 2022. The interdisciplinary PHOENIX consortium composed by 15 partners aims to adapt four models of democratic innovations (Participatory Budgeting, Citizens’ Assemblies, the Debate Publique, and participatory systems of councils) to better support the implementation of the European Green Deal goals.

The European Green Deal’s (EGD) transition pathway has been one of the major challenges for Europe since the start of the 21st century. PHOENIX project (which is an acronym for “Participation in HOlistic ENvironmental/Ecological Innovations”) is centred on the idea that, when dealing with environmental issues, participation is not just an option, but an absolute pre-condition for institutional policies and projects’ success.

PHOENIX aims at institutionalizing codesign processes in each pilot site and support the mainstreaming, scalability and adaptability of the methodologies tested in each pilot.

As a visual reference for this work, PHOENIX has chosen the metaphor of the Tangram (which in Chinese means “seven boards of skill”). The Tangram clearly visualises the possibility of imagining a series of tools and different participatory and deliberative methodologies (the coloured tans) that can be careful combined and aggregated – in different localities and at different administrative levels – in order to design diverse forms of Enriched Democratic Innovations (the shapes) that can better help to face the challenges of the European Green Deal in different situated contexts.

The team at Southampton will be composed by a postdoctoral fellow and Dr. Spada and is tasked to design and support the overall monitoring and evaluation strategy of the project with a focus on the 11 pilots that will be implemented in the next four years.

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