Zakia Elvang

Zakia Elvang

Founding Partner and Democracy Advisor, We Do Democracy

Copenhagen, Denmark 

Johan is working from his base in Copenhagen and engaged in democratic development in Europe with his roots in the Nordic countries. He is co-founding partner of the leading Danish change agency We Do Democracy and the co-founder and owner of the Copenhagen democracy innovation hub and meeting space “Demokrati Garage

Johan has worked as an expert advisor for more than 20 years with a focus on urban development, architecture, citizen involvement, and participatory urban planning. He has developed an award-winning Danish participation-driven solution to house refugees together with students integrated in urban development

He describes himself as a democracy activist and entrepreneur fighting for more and better democracy, driven by participation in all his roles and tasks. His core competences and expertise are how to design, organize, and drive democratic processes – with a life-long interest in learning, large-scale and systemic change, mobilization, and interaction. He has expertise in how to build the capacity of cities and citizens. As one of the main characters behind the growing Nordic deliberative movement  – Johan has experience as a moderator and leading more than 15 citizens assemblies and deliberative processes.

Johan has also been managing director of the design and urban planning company 2+1 Idéas Agency and communications director of the Danish Architecture Center and Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects. Johan has a master's degree in Culture Management from Aarhus University.

Johan is appointed board member by the Danish Minister of Culture and has received two Danish Design Awards, the Danish Building Award and nominated for the Mies van der Rohe Award

Johan is a member of the OECD Innovative Citizen Participation network and the Democracy R&D Network.

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