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New Release: Initiative Cookbook now available in English

Homemade Civic Engagement - An Introduction to Project Management

The cookbook supports those, who want to shape their society through civil initiative. It covers a broad range of aspects: ideation, planning, teamwork, target group, public relations, fundraising, finance management. It was published in German (2015), English (2016) and will be available in Ukrainian and Russian.

Serving Up Civic Engagement
When we’re hungry, we do something about it: we eat. Likewise, when we’re dissatisfied with something in society, we have the power to bring about change. Of course, in the fast food era, you don‘t necessarily have to cook for yourself. But you can‘t live on pizza, burgers, and fries forever. The same is true of social problems: complaining usually makes you less satisfied and does not provide a real solution.

Homemade things are better than store-bought ones
At the Theodor-Heuss-Kolleg, we prefer to make things ourselves. We procure fresh ingredients that we enjoy eating. We prepare them carefully and share the meals we cook with friends, at a table big enough for all of us. When we begin a civic engagement project, we determine what we think is important, either alone or within a team. We develop our own ideas and solutions for the world around us, with other people we value and respect.

Active influence
We hope that the Initiative Cookbook helps you develop your own recipes and helps volunteer initiatives to foster group action. We hope readers acquire a taste for these activities and discover new solutions beyond already existing recipes. Some of our recipes you can follow on your own, but this book should  primarily encourage a desire to try things out for yourself.

That’s why we feel it is important to disagree with the popular saying: Too many cooks spoil the broth. Of course, it is a challenge to work with many different people, with many cooks who have learned to cook in completely different ways. We might have to organize our work anew or find other ways to work together. But the more cooks we have, the better and more varied our cuisine becomes.

For democracy to really work, we have to participate actively. Democracy also needs gourmet chefs, editors-in-chief, parliamentarians, food photographers, and CEOs of food companies. But this handbook is addressed to all the playful amateurs out there. For it is the amateurs who can speak directly to and inspire all the different people that make up a society.

More about the cookbook as well as the links to the PDF in German and English you can find here on the MitOst homepage and on the webpage of Theodor Heuss Kolleg.