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Stefan Schartlmüller (at)
Stefan Schartlmüller was born in 1983 and has always held a deep fascination with the world and its people. After several years of travelling and working overseas he returned to Austria in 2009. Raised in a traditional inn in a small village, his initial plan to turn his back on gastronomy failed completely and he ended up with the opposite of his intentions. After a short social-economics interlude at the Johannes Kepler University of Linz, he opened the Spirali restaurant in Linz with two friends in the autumn of 2009, followed by the Wirt am Graben in the summer of 2010 (social economy in its purest form). Self-employment, protest actions for uni.brennt and his growing interest in agricultural policy eventually lead to a deeper involvement in political and democratic activism. This involvement took shape at first through classic social networking, then through a brief engagement in the Online-Partei, until finally in mid-2012 the IG Demokratie (democracy syndicate) was formed, which evolved as a logical progression of this network.
The IG Demokratie is not a society but an open, expanding network and the result of a quasi logical conclusion that took place in 2012. It started with an article published in May 2012 by Der Standard, according to which the Constitutional Court President Holzinger pressed for a democracy reform which was actually worthy of the name. (LINK) At the same time more information about the constitutional convention in Iceland became available, and so we started to focus in various meetings on the topic of participation, critically examined it from all perspectives and began to make relevant contacts. After a few additional impulses, the idea of “taking democratic reform into our own hands" was ignited. Since then we continue to network in all relevant directions (political education & culture, constitution, participation, media, etc.), organise discussion forums, work on a draft for a democracy convention/reform process and attend conventions like the Elevate Festival to incorporate the input into our work. We are also involved in lobbying for democracy. At the moment an important step towards the draft of the convention is on the agenda. That is why we are particularly looking forward to exciting discussions in Graz!
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