Who we are
CitizenLab is made up of a dedicated team of innovators, strategists, and technologists committed to bringing democracy into the 21st century
Our digital community engagement platform enables local governments and organizations to consult their communities with one central tool for surveys, ideation, participatory budgeting, deliberation, and information sharing. So whether a city is expanding mobility plans, adding green spaces, developing digital learning, or anything in-between, they can create sustainable, livable, and future-oriented solutions for every community issue. How? By tapping into the collective intelligence of their residents!
Using technology for good
Beyond the core functionalities of our platform, we believe artificial intelligence (AI) can and should be used for good. With the help of natural language processing (NLP) technology, our platform is trained on public-sector terminology across more than 10 languages. It scans keywords across community input and feedback shared on a city project and sorts, filters, and groups it to paint a clear, visual mapping of the topics most important to a community.
Our tool has been used by 400+ governments and organizations worldwide,
helping them process over 10,000 pieces of community input monthly. That’s a lot of data going to good use!
As a digital community engagement platform provider, our team understands security, safety, and privacy’s essential roles in building trust between governments, organizations, and community members. So, we decided to walk the talk and work with third-party auditors to ensure that our data privacy and security processes meet the highest international standards. After all, data privacy is core to what we do.
Ensuring safe digital engagement
B Corp Certification
At CitizenLab, impact isn’t just an afterthought - it’s a core part of our business. This year, we were proud to become a Certified B Corporation and join a community of changemakers, working collectively to address society’s most critical challenges.
So what exactly is a B Corp? B Corps are for-profit, mission-driven companies that seek to balance purpose and profit while boldly reimagining the role that business plays in society. More concretely, Certified B Corps meet B Lab’s high standards for social and environmental impact, making a clear commitment to stakeholder governance, and demonstrating accountability and transparency.
B Lab is a non-profit that measures a company’s social and environmental performance against the standards of the B Impact Assessment. The certification process looks at a business as a whole and examines how it creates value across five key areas: governance, workers, customers, community, and the environment. To become certified, a company must meet – and continue to uphold – high standards for transparency, accountability, and social and environmental performance.
Today there are over 5,000 Certified B Corporations in over 80 countries across over 150 industries, and we are proud to join their ranks!
Our B Corp score is
We were also awarded a spot on this year’s Meaningful Business 100 list, which celebrates leaders combining profit and purpose to help achieve the United Nations Global Goals!
Each year we bring together our global team of CitizenLab-ers together to (re)connect around our purpose. As a remote company with teammates based across 17 countries, (re)connecting means getting to know team members from across continents, finding inspiration in external training sessions and internal workshops, and making fun memories together along the way!
We spent time connecting at casual meet-ups across picnic tables, in team workshops at our headquarters in the City of Brussels, and tackling our Impactathon (think: a hackathon for impact, more on that in the next section) amongst the trees in Dinant, Belgium.
Given how global our team is, coming together once a year to connect and ideate in person is invaluable. However, we also recognize that the travel required for an event of this scale is not in line with our commitment to climate action.
To do our part, we worked with the Climate Change Fund to offset the travel impact of our event, amounting to 25 tonnes of CO2, by donating to their mission of sustainably reaching net-zero emissions globally.
The week-long gathering was also fuelled by local and organic meals, the collective use of public transportation once on-site, and ecological swag, such as reusable water bottles. One step at a time - we’re committed to our part in climate action!
When a group of smart and innovative individuals get together, amazing things happen. Not only that, but you double your workload with too many ideas - but would we have it any other way?! The impactathon really showed us there’s so much passion across the organization to build effective engagement for citizens” - Rabi Wilson, Government Success UK
Social impact is at the core of CitizenLab's mission, and year after year it comes up as a key driver for our team. Once a year, we like to take a step back and look at the big picture of the latest work and inspiration coming out of the sector and dive into thinking audaciously about how we can contribute to the evolution of participatory (digital) democracy. To get ready for 2023, we held an internal Impactathon (think: a hackathon for impact) at our annual, global team event.
We started with a simple question:
What are the challenges to making democracy more:
participatory, inclusive, and responsive?
Over the course of
We asked ourselves, how might we:
Increase the levels of trust between the public and governments?
Enhance public influence over decision-makers?
Build systems conducive to conversation, healthy deliberation, and consensus-building?
Contribute to more pluralistic democracies?
Help governmental institutions tap into the know-how of the many, not the few?
We spent time ideating together and building prototypes of solutions. In true participatory fashion, each of our 5 hackathon teams presented their idea for the challenges at hand and we each voted for the winning solution. The solution is currently in development by our wonderful team, and will be announced in 2023!
So who is behind all of this? Let’s take a look!
Our team and board
CitizenLab is made up of a dedicated team of innovators, strategists, and technologists committed to bringing democracy into the 21st century.
Our team represented
and worked in
across our team
We celebrated a
50% of employees
chose to personally invest in CitizenLab
Our team spent
10% of hours
on personal projects for social good
Thank you to all of the team members who contributed to CitizenLab’s mission in 2022!
Charlotte Lot Schuringa
Hugo De Brouwer
Jeroen Van Ransbeeck
Koen De Hondt
Luuc van der Zee
Wietse Van Ransbeeck
And thank you to our Board of Directors for their continued guidance on Citizenlab’s journey!
Wietse Van Ransbeeck (co-founder)
Aline Muylaert (co-founder)
Koen Gremmelprez (co-founder)
Olivier de Duve
We partner with individuals and organizations to share our mission of strengthening democracy through community engagement. In 2022, we welcomed partners in Sweden, Türkiye, and Norway to our growing global network of community changemakers and democracy champions:
Thank you to all of our partners for helping to spread participatory democracy through CitizenLab in:
Bruno Gomes and Regina Egger Pazzanese
Pablo Valenzuela, Magdalena Gatica Montero, Marcela Ayarza, Sebastián Brito,
and Francisca Lisbona
Greta Rios and Lorena Vargas
Henrik Challis and Ylva Hamp
Levent Koç and Lider Kara
Ann-Heidi Paulsen Orvik