The German Institute for Community Organizing (DICO) establishes citizen-led community platforms and spreads the idea of community organizingacross Germany.
Community Organizing (CO) is a tried and tested method for building grassroots power. Across political, ethnic and faith divides, people from a neighborhood come together to exchange, get to know each other. Ultimately, the CO process results in a needs assessment across the neighborhood and the formulation of solid political demands that are then put forward to local politicians in a standardised public event format. Ideally, community platforms over time become independent of the initial team of professional organizers.
While popular in the US and other Anglo-Saxon countries, community organizing is still rather little known in Europe even though is an effective tool to strengthen civil society from the grassroots up.
In the past 15 years, DICO has successfully built three platforms in Berlin and also brought the idea to Cologne. Our funding supports a new community organizer position with the goal to establish the fourth community platform in Berlin-Spandau.
The videos below (in German) provide insights into the meaning and practice of community organizing and cover the joint activities of the Berlin platforms around the local election in 2016 and the foundational meeting of the community platform Berlin-Neukölln.