Chapter 1

Democracy, government and power

What is democracy? How can it work for us? And how do we achieve a meaningful democracy that creates change for a better world?

Democracy isn’t limited to casting your vote every few years so your MPs can represent you in local, national or international governments. It can be so much more. It’s protest, petitions, letter-writing, individual and collective action. 

This is the kind of democracy that reflects what the word really means: people power. That power can be achieved at many levels. 

How do you see society? Is it something fixed and immutable? Or is it something humans have the power to change through questioning, challenging norms, democractic participation? Civil society has the power to change our communities, structures and world. The way we do it is through democracy. 

Now we invite you to think about power – who has it, who doesn’t, and how we can empower those who don’t. You’ll learn more about the structures of local, national and European governments, and discover how to advocate for democratic change outside of elections and elected officials – as well as how you can work with governments to create change. 

Once we understand how power works and where it lies, we can use that knowledge to empower ourselves and others.  

Activists and people working for change can often end up feeling demotivated and burnt out when they don’t understand who makes decisions and so keep working with no results. Together we can discover how to be more strategic and impactful – all while taking care of yourself and others as you work for change.

Discover more

Here are some useful links