Digital Innovation for Engagement & Neighborhood

We celebrate committed European neighborhoods

With the Digital Innovation for Engagement & Neighborhood action field, we look at what is happening right on our doorstep. We make visible how diverse Berliners are involved in their neighborhoods, connect committed people and want to inspire new engagement. Our particular focus is on how to combine and enrich unneighborly engagement with new digital opportunities.

© Verband für sozial-kulturelle Arbeit e.V.

Good neighborliness can be worth gold – and not only since we are in a pandemic. The short snack in the stairwell, flower pouring or sometimes taking care of the children, are all classics that make our everyday life easier and make life more sociable. But many people are even more committed to their neighborhoods. They do valuable social and cultural work in neighborhood initiatives or neighborhood houses. This strengthens the community and brings people together.  This creates exchanges between different life environments and across lifestyles. This is how the resources of individuals connect for the collective cause.    

The focus is on the common good

Neighborhood engagement includes a colorful bouquet of activities. Whether supporting the homeless, providing school tutoring for children of disadvantaged families or political work in the district, the focus is on the common good and the good cause. With concrete goals in mind, with a clear purpose and a sense of commitment, people help to make their everyday life and their neighborhood more livable for all.  

Professional neighborhood work by associations or innovative social enterprises supports people in their local commitment. It has an activating effect and invites you to participate in a responsible way. By strengthening tolerance and democratic action, as well as involving all sections of the population, neighborhood work provides important impetus to counter undemocratic, intolerant and xenophobic positions.  Neighborhood work and developments in the district are also related to municipal, national, social and international developments.  


On the occasion of the European Neighbours' Day, a video greeting from Ms. Chebli: Thanks to all the committed!

Reconnecting the digital sphere with real life on site

With our field of action, we want to make neighborhood work visible and appreciate it. But more than that: We are taking a look into the future by asking how neighborhood engagement is changing in the digital age. What opportunities arise from new digital communication possibilities? How can needs and offers be brought together more precisely? Can digital tools streamline and thus simplify organizational and coordination processes? In a nutshell, it's all about the interplay between analog and digital. There is hardly any better example of how the digital sphere, which is often perceived as anonymous and non-committal, can be reconnected to real life on the ground - and in the process offers many opportunities and possibilities.   

Especially during the corona pandemic, digital networking plays an important role. With this field of action, we want to look at innovative approaches that influence, develop and connect neighborhood engagement.  In order to learn from each other, this field of action also focuses on other European neighborhoods. With joint actions, a European exchange and the (re-)activation of international cooperation of neighborhood initiatives will be promoted. In May, meetings and exchange platforms will be created and neighborhoods across Europe will come together for the European Neighbours' Day (28.5.). Furthermore, we want to discuss how democracy building & communication in neighborhoods can take place digitally - especially against the background of the Corona pandemic.

Europe, democracy and digitization

We want to show what solutions already exist and what it takes to make them connectable.  Thus, this field of action combines all our cross-cutting themes: Europe, democracy and digitization. But that's not all: we want to create links, question and research how this particular type of collaboration opens up new knowledge for other forms of engagement. For this field of action, too, we are looking forward to joint implementation with a partner organization. For the field of action Digital Innovation for Engagement & Neighborhood, our main partner is the Verband für sozial-kulturelle Arbeit e.V. - Landesverband Berlin. Other partners from Hungary, Israel, Austria, England, France, Sweden and Finland will be involved in the field of action. 

Start of the action field was on 1.05.2021 

Under the theme "virtual, local democracy and engagement", the European partners came together for the digital launch event and discussed  

  • how democracy education can happen digitally in neighborhoods,  

  • what are the consequences of the Corona pandemic on this field of engagement and  

  • What digital communication looks like in neighborhoods across Europe. 

past Events in the field of action:

May 28 2021, 10-15 h, digital professional event Near to Each Other - Potentials of Neighborly Help as Part of Neighborhood Social Infrastructure.

For the Festival of Neighbors on May 28, 2021 many actions and events took place. Here is a small selection:

You can find even more actions and events in different Berlin neighborhoods collected here:

© VskA e.V.
For a colorful neighborhood: flower seeds to take home, in the neighborhood centers.
© VskA e.V.
© VskA e.V.


VskA // Verband für sozial-kulturelle Arbeit e.V. – Landesverband Berlin

Building on our self-understanding that neighborhood work is activating, that all activities in neighborhood houses are voluntary and invite them to participate resituently, we promote civic and voluntary engagement in the district. By strengthening tolerance and democratic action, as well as involving all sections of the population, neighbourhood work provides important impetus to counter undemocratic, intolerant and xenophobic positions. It is non-denominational and politically independent and takes place in almost all European countries.


Ms. Gökçen Demirağlı


partner website