Skip to main content

How the online participation of the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania actively contributed to shaping the MV Future Strategy:

What could an economically progressive, ecologically stable and socially just Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania look like in 2030? And which scenarios would have to occur in order for the envisioned future to be realised? The MV Strategy for the Future in the autumn of 2020 set out to find solutions to these and other questions and to initiate the necessary structural change in the economy and society towards sustainability.

The development of the strategy for the future consisted of a multi-stage process of expert and citizen participation. One main component was the MV Future Council – an independent advisory body consisting of 49 Mecklenburg personalities with a high level of professional expertise and a great deal of practical knowledge in the fields of science, business, culture, and civil society. Another main component was a broad-based online participation, which was to involve the general population as well as selected associations, federations, and other organisations from MV in the strategy development.

The Schwerin State Chancellery commissioned the participation experts of CrowdInsights GmbH with the theoretical conception as well as the practical implementation of the citizen participation. In close consultation with the Future Department in the State Chancellery, a concept consisting of a total of three participation modules was designed. The first was a question addressed to the entire population via the online platform. In parallel, mini-workshops were organised with a group of about 20 people from clubs, associations, and other organisations. The results of the workshops were incorporated into the initial online survey. The third element was a further round of questioning via the platform. Three thematic areas (namely mobility, education, and agriculture) that had emerged as particularly urgent in the results of the first round of questioning were examined in greater detail. For each topic area, three alternative trend scenarios were presented to the participants, with a request for comments and prioritisation.

In the opening question, participants were asked to look into the future. The original wording: “It is the year 2030 and MV has become climate neutral! Together we have overcome a global pandemic. What three things have concretely changed in your life?”

In the almost two-month survey period, almost 400 participants answered – sometimes very extensively and emotionally. Compiled, all answers would compromise a book of 150 pages! The participation experts from CrowdInsights then isolated more than a thousand key statements and grouped them into content clusters. From these clusters, a list of 15 interim findings was produced, which were published transparently and comprehensibly on the digital platform.

The list of interim findings was coordinated with the State Chancellery in spring 2021 and also presented to the MV Future Council. This enabled the findings to be incorporated into the Future Council’s recommendations to the state government, which were discussed during the state parliament session on the MV Future Strategy in June 2021. The third participation phase – questions on possible future trends in the subject areas of education, mobility, and agriculture – is still ongoing at the present time (as of November 2021).

In summary, the online participation on the MV Future Strategy designed by CrowdInsights can be considered a success. In the mini-workshops as well as on the digital platform, an extremely constructive ideation process about the future of MV developed. In view of the politically polarised situation in the state, this could have not necessarily been expected. The answers not only covered content-related details, but also articulated overarching strategic goals and expressed a very positive reference to their own home region, always in relation to their own global responsibility.