Association of Polar Early Career Scientists


The annual Festival is an open and free event that brings together people of diverse backgrounds that are interested in, and work on, engagement of citizens in science, policymaking and deliberative democracy in Europe (and globally). These include EU countries, EU institutions, civil society organisations, research and academia, and artists. The programme each year features a variety of events including open conversations, interactive sessions, artwork, and an exhibition of participatory and/or deliberative democracy projects. The Festival is also the principal annual networking event for the Community of Practice of the Competence Centre on Participatory and Deliberative Democracy. In 2020, the Festival was held entirely online. In 2022, however, it will be a hybrid event where participants will be able to attend and interact either in person – in Ispra, Italy, or Brussels, Belgium - and/or online.

Date: 20-21 October 2022

To coincide with the European Year of Youth, the theme of the Festival this year is ‘Youth Participation’.

2022 is a year in which we find ourselves with difficult decisions to make, amid conflict, whilst looking to a future beyond the pandemic. That is why the Commission is reaching out to young people for their vision, engagement and participation to co-create the futures they want. According to the 2021 European Year of Youth Survey, 62.9% of respondents did know or were not sure how to make their voice heard or express their opinion. In response to these findings, therefore, we at the Competence Centre on Participatory and Deliberative Democracy are interested contribute to a participatory reflection on how young people can be better, and more, engaged in policy and research processes.

There are a number of sub-themes we are interested in exploring at the festival that fall under the main theme of Youth Participation. These include:

1) Local and Indigenous Youth Roles in traditional knowledge transmission and circulation. The focus here is on how young local and indigenous people are being engaged in science and policymaking.

2) Space: How can we harness space, both virtual and physical, for better participatory and deliberative outcomes with, and for, youth?

 3) Czechia: During the festival the Presidency of the Council of the EU will be Czechia, and therefore we welcome submissions on the theme of participatory and deliberative democracy in relation to Czechia.

Call for Expressions of Interest - Sessions

The Competence Centre on Participatory and Deliberative Democracy is seeking contributions to our 4th Public Participation and Deliberative Democracy Festival, in the form of proposals for sessions. This includes formats such as roundtable conversations, panels, interactive games, performances or other forms of exchange.

What are we looking for?

We are looking to collect submissions that are creative, informative and relevant for practitioners, policymakers and researchers. Session proposals should offer perspectives on participatory and deliberative democracy in Europe (and globally where relevant). It is preferable that submissions focus on the main themes of the Festival, outlined above. The 2022 Festival will go beyond the standard model of hybrid (online and in-person) conference events to tap into new forms of interaction and to bring a wide variety of speakers and viewpoints into the discussion. Our aim is for the sessions to be lean, engaging and dynamic, of about 60 minutes each.

How to apply?

Fill in the submission form HERE. Your submission will be assessed on the following criteria:

  • Relevance: The session is relevant to the Festival themes
  • Quality and preparation of submission: All sections are filled in with well-considered proposals for session structure, speakers, format, discussion points, and expected outcomes
  • Appeal: The proposed session is appealing to the broader Festival audience in that it is dynamic, creative and informative
  • Representation of diverse and alternative viewpoints: We want to hear the voices of diverse groups that may not often get heard, including participants from all walks of life

Submissions close at midnight CET on May 15, 2022.

We will notify you in due course on whether your submission is accepted.

If your proposal is accepted, you will be in charge of organising the session (confirming participants whether moderators, speakers or performers, session preparation including drafting questions, format and undergoing technical tests, etc.), with the support of the Festival team.

Project showcase

The Festival traditionally showcases participatory and deliberative democracy projects and initiatives in a virtual exhibition. In order to get involved, we need you to send us a short description of your project (approximately 100 words), as well as 1-3 photos. In addition, you may also provide video links. NB, according to European Commission requirements, if you show people’s faces in the photos, you must have their permission in written form, and send it to us together with your submission. Find the authorization form that is attached in the 'Resources' section below. Send these materials to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. no later than Midnight CET June 1, 2022. We will gather the submissions and reply based on the quality and relevance of the submission (NB projects must be dedicated in large part to participatory and deliberative democracy initiatives).

Get involved

The Festival team wants to support you to participate in the Festival! Please get in touch with us if you would like to contribute as an expert/researcher in participatory and deliberative democracy, or as an artist, Maker or other expert role. We’d love to hear from you!

Contact us for further questions or information: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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