A workshop with representatives from 16 German federal states

Direct democracy tools on a national level?

The briefing was rather unusual: develop six short simulation game scenarios and play them with experts from the chancelleries of all 16 German federal states. Following an initiative from Schleswig-Holstein and Thuringia, their goal was a joint Federal Council initiative for the introduction of referendums on a national level.

Suddenly we were inside German politics and had the opportunity to witness a very exciting process. Our one-hour simulation game scenarios addressed variants of direct-democratic participation, such as plebiscite, obligatory referendum, consultation of the people or veto initiative. Following these short simulation games, several key questions were reflected upon and discussed in depth.

It was an honour that the “playing” of different scenarios led to new insights in this important debate. It became clear that political simulation games not only have a place in education, but also in political consulting. Nevertheless, whether elements of direct democracy will be introduced in the current conditions is something we do not dare predict.

Facts + Figures

Target group

Representatives of 16 state chancelleries

  • Filtering out practicability of different direct-democratic elements and finding ways to implement them that will meet consensus

State Chancellery of Schleswig-Holstein


1,5 days

Number of participants