Dear Reader,

Today any suggestion posted on the website will be forwarded to a government minister if it has received the vote of at least one other citizen. According to some, “Today I decide” has developed into a kind of open think tank. The suggestions discussed cover such issues as green bicycle routes in towns, free public transport for pregnant women, legalisation of assisted suicide, and improving the education system.
In the Nordic countries, too, we need to constantly monitor the functioning of our democracy with a critical eye. In the past, non-formal adult education has played an important part in creating an inclusive society with active citizenship. But times change, and non-formal education needs creative thinking regarding its ambitions, role and methods if it seriously wishes to continue making an independent contribution to public debate and social development. This conclusion was reached by the DEMOS 2006 project, which also points out that using think tanks on local and national levels can be a way of stimulating active participation.
Other topics covered in this issue of DialogWeb include initiatives aimed at promoting active citizenship and creating equal opportunities for inhabitants in sparsely populated areas such as the Åland archipelago. The results of these projects are gratifying for citizens and authorities alike.