Make it funky: how to revamp citizenship through communication

Funky Citizens is an NGO true to its awesome name. They empower citizens by demystifying public information and practices that are essential for civil society: public finances, state institutions, constitutional rights.

Their thinking is that if you, the average citizen, understand how public institutions work and what they do with your money, you’re more likely to keep an eye on their activities, demand transparency and blow the whistle when you spot abuse.

Of course, getting citizens to be more funky is a process and it can’t be done in isolation. Funky Citizens collaborates with other organizations that share the same goal of enabling citizens to ask, participate and change things that aren’t working.

It also supports informal groups and individual citizens by offering access to their knowledge, skills and NGO infrastructure, since they know that small initiatives with a great potential for impact might need some NGO fuel.

They’ve recently moved base to Colivia, a workspace that often doubles as an exhibition venue, launching events and hosting parties, all citizenship themed. The purpose is to gather around a group of friends and supporters that share the funky attitude to citizenship whom might even collaborate on some of the many projects Funky has on the pipeline.

Cosmin Pojoranu is Funky’s communication engine, crafting savvy campaigns built alongside talented designers and programmers. When it comes to making messy and sterile public information sexy, Cosmin (@yozness) is the go-to guy.

Watch the man himself share the story of how Funky came to be, what they’re working on now and what he’s most interested in doing next.

Registered for the #Futurespotters International Workshop? Cosmin will be hosting a session on data visualisation. Have questions about this? Write them in a comment below and we’ll make sure to address them.



In Greece, there is a website where people list the bribes they have paid to officials and doctors, etc. It’s called “I Pay a Little Bribe”.

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We have The Bribe Market here in Romania :slight_smile:

I feel I should share some of the context of me joining the Spot the Future workshop

I know how to frame stories to achieve a given objective. You want to talk to people about reforming the party system, or about having more water fountains in Bucharest? There are different strategies that work for each case. Regardless of the tactic you choose to pursue, you will have to start by educating people with the right arguments for them to be able to support your cause. It might happen that you will deal with a lot of data, and it’s only polite that you plot this data into an infographic instead of throwing it against your audience. I’ll host a small session about data visualization at the event. I’d like to collect first-hand experiences from the audience regarding the way in which they unfold their causes’ story, so I can get inspiration for my story delivery. I’ll share my knowledge if you share yours :slight_smile: Also, I am interested in organisational by-products from which NGOs could derive revenue. I have recently started mass-producing collectible stickers with the biggest corrupt politicians of Romania, and they are selling quite well on the market.

Do you have a similar alternative fund-raising story? If so, let us connect, we have so much to talk about :slight_smile:


Yep, the way to go for the session

Hi Cosmin, I am so grateful to Alex for introducing you, I know Funky is getting quite well known and you and Elena (whom I only heard great things of) are doing the dirty work that needs to be done. I cannot miss on introducing you to @ericnbarrett at Jumpstart Georgia, he makes a similar argument about being polite and communicate your data better. And they built a storybuilder web app which also looks promising.

Great idea for the session, and will make sure to brief people before.

For by-products for which NGOs could derive value, maybe @Iulian_Ifrim is the guy to talk to.  At Edgeryders we wanted to not become an NGO and chose a company model, precisely to give us more independence, yet our biz model is really uncomplete or keeps evolving. So far the sales are a function of the reputation of colleagues in public policy areas who are interested in building communities