In Brief

Our idea

The Climate Change and Democracy teams are working together to develop a program to strengthen inclusive citizen participation in shaping sustainable food environments at the community level. The focus is on municipalities with up to 50,000 inhabitants that have little experience with integrated food policy and/or citizen participation but are motivated and willing to engage in an open negotiation process to shape municipal food policy.

The Robert Bosch Stiftung is currently looking for a partner to advise on finalizing the concept for the program "Inclusive Citizen Participation for Sustainable Food Policy" (working title), to support the preparation and dissemination of the call for proposals, to select up to ten municipalities, and to implement an approximately two-year local project support phase (2025-2027).

Why are we doing this project?

Next to the energy and mobility transition, the food transition is the most important climate policy goal. The first impacts of climate change and further crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic put additional pressure on the food system and highlight its fragility. The proactive transformation of this system is crucial, not only from an environmental perspective, but also because it touches on many social aspects and equity issues. The issue is therefore particularly sensitive and part of polarized social debates.

At the same time, citizens' trust in institutions and democratic processes is waning and many people's expectations of participating in political decision-making and social justice are not being met. To ensure that all citizens can become active agents of change, inclusive and target group-oriented formats beyond traditional information and discussion events are needed. Transformative change can only succeed if all of society participates.

What do we want to achieve?

Municipalities, civil society and citizens should have the opportunity to actively shape the transformation that is already taking place. The project aims to bring together local governments, civil society actors and citizens to identify conflicting goals, negotiate compromises based on the common good, sharpen mandates and develop solutions together.

How does the project work?

The detailed concept and the exact procedure will be developed together with the selected partner organization.


Sylvia Hirsch
Senior Project Manager
Phone+49 711 46084-823
e-mail to Sylvia Hirsch
Doreen Buchheiser
Project Manager
Phone+49 711 220025-317
e-mail to Doreen Buchheiser