A space for change makers.

Civic Engagement Research, Projects, and Guides

Discussing Leadership at The Hub (CC)

Should governments be involved in social innovation? Are they effective in engaging citizens and inspiring change? What role does citizen participation play in government social innovation? We believe that governments of all sizes should reach out to their citizens to solve challenges that are facing their communities. Here are our favourite research papers, projects, and guides for deepening the conversation around social innovation and citizen participation!

Let us know if you have any more to add in the comments!


Civic Engagement: One Simple Solution to Youth Disconnection - Researchers discuss the role that civic participation can have on the biggest challenges facing youth today.

Open Source, Social Innovation, and a New Economy of Engagement - This paper looks of the role of technology and social innovation in creating civic discourse.

Social Innovation and Civic Engagement - An interesting research paper on the real benefits of civic participation and which sectors are best able to bring about social change.

Social Innovation in Local Government - A paper that discusses the role government can and should play in social innovation.


Davis Projects for Peace at Colby - A series of projects for university students to use social innovation to create peace in conflict prone areas.

Relationship Between Social Innovation and Civic Engagement - A think tank at the University of Washington wich explores the link between citizen participation and social innovation.

Democratic Participation and Social Innovation - A project from Unesco looking at the roles of youth in civic society and what benefits civic participation has for youth and for society.

Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation - The Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation is focused on developing policies and programs to accelerate economic recovery and create stronger communities. (US)

Social Innovation from the Scottish Government - Learn about unique government initiatives in Scotland to increase citizen participation and social innovation.

Civic Lab Prototyping for the Wellington City Council - Code for Aotearoa worked with the Wellington City Council to run workshops with it’s staff and citizens to get feedback on how the City Council was run. They’re now developing a prototype project based on the feedback from those sessions!


Engaging citizens in social innovation: a short guide to the research for policy makers and practitioners This guide looks at what civic engagement can realistically achieve and what tactics you can use to get the best results.

Promoting Civic Engagement and Voting - A podcast on how we can increase civic engagement and voter turnout by making small changes.

How Can Organisations and Citizens Promote Social Innovation - This guide looks at how governments, organisations, and citizens can work together to bring about social innovation.

The Role of Government in Social Innovation - An article that explores how social innovation can help governments re-build faster in a crisis.

Look to Government for New Social Innovations - A Guide from the Harvard Business Review which argues that Governments are the best places to see Social Innovation at work.

Unleashing Breakthrough Innovation in Government - Public sector innovators are improving government by replicating the market conditions that have long fostered breakthrough innovation in the private sector.

How to Talk to Civic Hackers - This book is meant for public servants and people working inside government who want to connect with innovators and technologists outside of the bureaucracy.

Participatory City - A guide with everyday activities that help citizens improve their neighbourhoods and communities.