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How the Greens in North Rhine-Westphalia were able to develop the cornerstones of their 2022 election programme with the help of an insights process:

What decisions must be made today so that all people have a good future in North Rhine-Westphalia? Guided by this question, the Greens of North Rhine-Westphalia wanted to work out the key points of the election programme for the upcoming state elections in spring 2022 in the winter of 2020/21. Since no one can find answers to such a question alone, the programme was to be developed together with citizens, initiatives, associations and activists.

In order to involve as many citizens as possible from all over North Rhine-Westphalia in the process, the Greens decided on a digital insights process with a total of two consecutive questions. In a first step, the participants were asked a “what” question: “When you think about your private and professional environment, which three things need to happen most urgently? And what must politics do to initiate the things you have mentioned?” In a subsequent step, the participants were asked to express ideas on how the Greens can accompany these changes so that as many people as possible participate in them and ideally even actively support them. 

The citizens of North Rhine-Westphalia had a good month to answer the two questions via the CrowdInsights digital platform. During the entire process, people of all ages and places of residence submitted more than 700 answers to the platform. As a service provider, CrowdInsights isolated key statements from the sometimes very extensive responses, which were grouped into content clusters in a further step. From the clusters, CrowdInsights derived a list of insights, which, with links to the core statements, were published on the platform.

The findings were presented to the party members as well as the party executive at the very beginning of the programme process and were taken into account in the drafting of the state election programme. The party executive committee of the Greens of North Rhine-Westphalia also undertook to once again comment directly on each of the individual findings. These statements were published on the Mitdenken platform for everyone to see. All registered participants were also informed by a personally tailored but automatically generated email about the influence their own contribution had on the results.

For the Greens of North Rhine-Westphalia, the self-imposed goal of involving a broad public in the programme process was achieved digitally despite the pandemic situation. Valuable insights into concrete contents were gained in the process. In addition, the participation process was the starting point for follow-up events, such as a digital future workshop. Since more than 400 participants had registered on the Mitdenken platform with their email address, many participants of the Insights process could also be invited to these follow-up events.