CENTER FOR CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
Connor Bitter (Harvard), Yvenna Chen (Harvard), Ivan Cornut (CRI)
Though the city of Paris has many innovation labs and a large-scale participatory budget funding system, citizens who cannot afford the monetary or time cost associated with these options are left without an opportunity to participate in their city. The Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) is our attempt at engaging more citizens in social change. Ultimately, we aim to establish a municipal immune system in which citizens act as innate immune cells that directly combat the problems — “pathogens” — that they detect.
We envision a new branch of the Mayor’s Office helping to facilitate small-scale social projects through local outreach, engagement and logistical support, with the goal to empower citizens to create change themselves. The CCE would have “lymph node” offices throughout Paris to create a physical presence in many geographical neighbourhoods.
We propose pilots of the CCE in three focus arrondissements, with the ability to expand the network to the entire city and beyond. Deployment would take around a year and a half, with assessment of projects and of the organization itself conducted continuously with surveys and interviews.