About us


About Us

Netwerk Democratie is committed to a resilient democracy in the digital society.

Digital technology offers both opportunities and risks for democracy. Opportunities lie in the countless opportunities for citizens to organise themselves, in innovative forms of citizen participation and a more transparent government. Risks include fake news, interference in elections and the concentration of power in a handful of tech companies.

Netwerk Democratie identifies the opportunities and converts them into practical applications to strengthen democracy. We put the risks on the agenda and offer alternative perspectives for action. Netwerk Democratie’s mission rests on two pillars: Digital democracy and the democratisation of technology.

Digital technology offers both opportunities and risks for democracy

Digital democracy

We are committed to making the use of open source, participatory instruments accessible to citizens and public authorities. Digital technologies used for democratic decision-making need to function transparently and fairly. Also, these technologies should be used to strengthen deliberative democracy. Since 2016, Netwerk Democratie has been working with the ‘Democratie in Actie’ (Democracy in Action) programme of the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations/VNG to support local authorities in the Netherlands in the use of open source participation tools and to publicly share the knowledge and tools developed. Netwerk Democratie also operates in an international network of civil society organisations committed to democratic innovation.

Democratisation of technology

At a time when technology is having an ever-increasing impact on privacy and society, the decision-making process surrounding technology must be democratised. Netwerk Democratie is committed to increasing citizens’ say in shaping the digital society. Technological developments must serve the public interest. Netwerk Democratie is co-initiator of the programme series New Democracy in collaboration with Pakhuis de Zwijger. Every year, Netwerk Democratie organises the master class series Netpolitiek, together with Internet Society NL, Waag and Bits of Freedom.

Through its activities, Netwerk Democratie offers a platform for innovative democratic developments in which the public interest is central. The organisation’s programme is led by co-directors Anne de Zeeuw and Tessel Renzenbrink.

Stichting Netwerk Democratie was founded in 2011 by Josien Pieterse and Mieke van Heesewijk. It arose from Forum Democratische Ontwikkeling, Burgerlink and the Digital Pioneers Scheme of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.

The board of Network Democracy consists of:
Josien Pieterse (Chair)

ANBI status
Network Democracy has ANBI (Public Benefit Organisation) status.

Netwerk Democratie is board member of European Civic Forum, a network of European civil society organisations.

Europe Direct Information Centre Amsterdam
From January 2018 onwards Netwerk Democratie has been appointed as a Europe-Direct Information Centre (EDIC). As EDIC Netwerk Democratie informs citizens about important European issues and decision-making, and organise events to talk about the future of the Europe.
For questions and information, contact us via europedirect@netdem.nl

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