Module 1

Active Citizenship

Welcome to the Module 1: Active Citizenship - Be part of the change!

Here, you’ll learn about the idea of active citizenship and why it’s a vital foundation of social entrepreneurship in general.

Active citizens are people who are taking actively part in solving social problems in their societies. Their activities can range from following a cause and signing petitions, through volunteering to leading social change. Therefore, active citizenship and active citizens are the backbones of healthy societies.

Anyone can become an active citizen and so promote positive changes in their community and society, and so can you! You will also find out what is the best way for your civic activism currently and what is the cause you’d like to support.

Therefore this module is here to help you understand the principle of active citizenship. Active citizenship is a combination of motivation, attitude, skills, knowledge and actions. The main goal of this module is to guide you towards finding your cause, and taking decisions about your level of involvement in the solution. It focuses specifically on framing the core problem and it’s causes to ensure that you can start working on solutions for real problems and not just on skin-deep reactions to their symptoms.

Learning Objectives

By the end of the course module, you will:

  • understand the concept of active citizenship
  • understand the need for active citizenship
  • define the role and values of an active citizen
  • define the problem you want to address
  • take a first decision about the form you want to get involved in implementing social innovations

The very short introductory video below sums up the modules content for you in advance.


Your first lecture video will help you understand how to find your own cause for social innovation. Martina Kolesárová will be your lecturer. She has worked at Pontis Foundation for 3 years and her responsibilities have varied from running projects to support social innovation and pro bono ecosystem in Slovakia through managing fundraising activities and fundraising operations of the Foundation. Since January 2018, Martina is leading teams with programs in education, social inclusion and strategic philanthropy. Before joining Pontis Foundation, Martina was responsible for designing and supervising NGO projects in renewable energy, which included communication with state authorities and media. She also worked at corporate social responsibility consultancy in Tel Aviv and served as senior volunteer for Central European team of Ashoka Foundation during her temporary base in Washington, D.C.

We translated the lecture videos scripts into German, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Slovak and Slovenian. In case you would like to have a look at the translated scripts, please see the files for downloading further down.

Lecture 1

What is active citizenship?

Lecture playlist

Lecture 1

What is active citizenship?


Lecture 2

Problem analysis


Lecture 3

Forms of active citizenship


Additional materials and transcripts

Infographic on Active Citizenship

In case you need a quick summary of all the material we just covered, you can look at this handy infographic on active citizenship. It will cover the main points of the course and remind you of the steps to conducting a problem tree analysis.

Expert interviews

In this video, you’ll get to hear first-hand how three people with different professional backgrounds transformed into active citizens.

Petra Kotuliaková is founder and CEO of the Slovak NGO “AJ Ty v IT” (“You in IT, also”) challenging young girls and empowering women in TECH fields. She gained her experience in communication and public relations while working at the Faculty of Informatics and Information Technology of Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava, and previously in the marketing department of DANONE International Brands in Paris. In 2015, she represented Slovakia in the field of Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in the International Visitor Leadership Program of US Department of State.

Lucia Sickova will explain to you Pixel Federation’s “Butterfly Effect” platform, which allows students and young professionals to learn to make games or applications. She is co-founder of Pixel Federation with passion for innovation, education, games, her three children, joy from creativity, and sustainable growth with long years’ experience in IT and human resources in the creative industry. She runs HR projects for corporate institutions, from analysis of training needs in the public sector, management of IT projects to start-ups and active participation in corporate management and project management. Lucia currently manages development programs and people at Pixel Federation. She is also in charge of Edufactory by Pixel Federation, which aims to support and create educational projects.

Finally Ivan Kalas will talk about his work on incorporating digital technologies in education. He is professor of Informatics education at Comenius University, Bratislava, and a visiting professor at UCL Institute of Education, London. His professional interests include development of constructionist interfaces for learning programming, and research in the field of the impact of digital technologies on learning.

All three spotted the same problem in the education system: low level of ICT literacy among children and youth; and all three found their own ways of addressing it.

Case Studies

Fighting food waste and integrating the Deaf community into the labor force: here, you’ll find strong examples of how active citizenship can be transformed into action. Read the case studies to find out more!

Find your cause

Now that you’ve had a chance to familiarize yourself with the material, it’s time to put it into action and see how it works for you. In this assignment, we will guide you through the process of figuring out what you should get involved in and how you might contribute!

Additional Readings

'You’ve now learned a lot about active citizenship.
The learning doesn’t end here though! Voluntary readings may serve to dive deeper into specific topics.
We’ve arranged them by subject for your convenience and encourage you to study them individually or discuss them down below in the discussion section.

Webinar on Active Citizenship - learn from a real case

In thirteen years Our Town, the biggest corporate volunteering event in Central Europe grew from an event in one city to towns all over Slovakia; and from 400 volunteers to more than 10,000 annually.

With such a huge success, this unique event is a perfect case to discuss during our webinar about active citizenship.

Table of contents

Academy Modules
Active citizenship
Social Business
Technology & Creativity for Social Innovation
Stakeholder Engagement
Impact Assessment
Impact Finance
Social Innovation Policies
Roots of Impact
pontis foundation

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