MAURICE SPECHT

What I am working on at the moment

In recent years I have published two books (on the invention of the Reading Room and on social entrepreneurs) and numerous articles. Together with others we run a platform “De Makers van Rotterdam” focusing on questions about social entrepreneurs, active citizenship and the role of public institutions.

I'm Co-editor-in-chief of the book series “Community Lover's Guide to the Universe” in which we collect stories of inspiring projects around the globe where people organize themselves as collectives changing their environment. Together with over 100 volunteers we run the Reading Room, a public meeting space revolving around language, literature and imagination. And on an island in Rotterdam we are transforming an old 500 m2 shed into a Think and Make-space. 

Why I wanted to join the Participatory City Global Advisory

Over the last couple of years I have collecting and doing all kinds of projects in which I try to organize and understand how collectives can shape their environment. With every project, scaling up always comes up as a question. Participatory City offers an interesting answer to this. Not by replicating projects, but by developing and sustaining an ecosystem over time which hopefully lead to mass scale different projects. Participatory City thus offers an interesting tangible answer, but also enables us (myself included) to investigate important questions about the future ways in which to organize democratic ways of governing society. It is this rare combination of hands on experience, deep theoretical questions and a sustained time investment which make me very excited to play a role. 

A little bit about my background

Trained as a philosopher and with a PhD in public administration I have both a practical and theoretical interest in understanding how to organize new collectives working on and for the public good. I work as a freelancer based in Rotterdam and am a part of different “we’s.