Currently a pilot in partnership with the Center for the Future of Arizona, DemocraSeed trains students on city and tribal youth councils to utilize design thinking in order to develop innovative programs to increase civic engagement. Equipped with these tools and knowledge, students will be empowered to create and pilot financially sustainable peer-to-peer civic engagement interventions.
DemocraSeed launched in June 2016 with a full-day training at ASU’s Tempe campus, where three youth councils and their leaders received training on design thinking, public speaking and civic engagement. In August 2016, the three youth councils participated in a Pitch Event at the League of Cities and Towns Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona. The teams were awarded seed funding based on their pitches and will implement their project in the fall of 2016 with a final showcase in winter 2016.
The three youth councils participating in the DemocraSeed pilot are: Salt River Pima-Maricopa Tribal Youth Council, City of Surprise Youth Council and Lake Havasu City Youth Council. ASU Entrepreneurship + Innovation intends to scale the program in 2017 and train additional youth councils across Arizona on how to use design thinking in order to implement meaningful, innovative programs in their communities.