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Celebrating 5 Years of Participation Factory: Looking Back and Also Ahead

As Participation Factory reaches this significant milestone, it’s a moment to reflect on the remarkable journey that has led us to this point. From humble beginnings to an established company, our story is one of resilience, determination, and unwavering commitment to our mission.

Starting From Scratch

The Factory was founded five years ago by a group of visionary individuals passionate about driving positive change. We began literally from scratch, only with a handful of curious clients. Armed with a belief in the power of meaningful participation, our team set out to work with Prague’s city districts and smaller municipalities around the capital. As the experience and expertise grew so did the scale and complexity of our projects, which have also expanded beyond the borders of the Czech Republic. The road has not always been smooth though. 

Navigating Challenges

Along the way, we encountered scepticism, bureaucratic hurdles, and many other challenges that tested our resolve. However, with each obstacle we faced, we emerged stronger and more determined than ever to pursue our mission.

One of the most significant challenges we faced was convincing stakeholders of the value of our approach. In a world accustomed to traditional top-down decision-making processes, our emphasis on participation and data-driven methodologies was met with scepticism. The approach of “manufacturing impact” has not always been met with understanding. Yet, through perseverance and a relentless dedication to showcasing the tangible benefits of our work, we were able to win over hearts and minds, gradually gaining support for our vision.

The Constant Need to Adapt

Participatory planning –  our core expertise – has been growing fast and sometimes unpredictably during the past decade. We knew from the start that we must be adaptive. Constant rethinking and revalidation of the services that we offer became a crucial habit. Adaptation became especially important during the pandemic era, which had everyone reconsider the reasons why and ways in which we do public engagement.

Progress and Growth

Despite the challenges, Participation Factory experienced steady growth and expansion over the past five years. What began as a small initiative has blossomed into a thriving social enterprise with a global reach. We’ve had the privilege of working with communities, governments, and organizations around the world, from Southern Norway to sunny Africa.

As the organization expanded, it became evident that a more specialized approach was necessary to effectively address the diverse needs of clients and communities. The team at Participation Factory has evolved from a small, versatile group where everyone handled various tasks to a specialized 12-member team consisting of senior experts with distinct focuses on specific agendas:

Looking Ahead

As the field of participation gets more professionalised and evolves into an organized industry, we are committed to staying at the forefront of trends, empowering communities, and driving positive change through meaningful participation and collaboration. The experiences of the past half-decade have equipped us with a deeper understanding of what works and what doesn’t, making us better poised for the projects ahead.

Now, we would like to use this opportunity to share some of our know-how and expertise in the field of participation that we have acquired over the years!

Announcing our One-Year Program and Special Offer

To mark our 5th anniversary, we’re thrilled to announce the launch of our One-Year Program of interactive content and events. We will share know-how, delve into crucial topics, ignite conversations, provide networking opportunities, and, hopefully, inspire actionable change. 

Join us on the first kick-off webinar on March 6th from 4 p.m. CET, on which we will announce the program for the year to come. 

Moreover, we have prepared a special offer for the Participatory training and design workshop. It is aimed at any institution or organization – whether you’re looking to elevate your community engagement strategies, leverage data-driven insights, or enhance your governance processes, this is your opportunity to unlock new possibilities and drive lasting change. 

The special offer is valid only until April 30th, 2024. Don’t miss out on this limited-time opportunity! Get more info HERE.