iOS app Android app

Participatory Democracy

"Occupy" Spanish-Style... Big Lessons for Us?

Frances Moore Lappe | Posted 09.23.2015 | Politics
Frances Moore Lappe

Back from the first global conference on money in politics in Mexico City, I'm bursting with stories that might carry messages of possibility that Americans need right now. Sure worked for me.

How Countries Fight Against Political Spending That Corrupts Democracy

Frances Moore Lappe | Posted 09.02.2015 | World
Frances Moore Lappe

I want to find out how other countries are fighting for democracy against its corruption by powerful private interests. My learning began in a conversation with Secretary General Yves Leterme of the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA), a Stockholm-based organization of 28 member states.

Independence Day 2.0: More Democracy Every Day!

Lisa Schirch | Posted 07.06.2015 | Politics
Lisa Schirch

On this July 4th, let's declare our independence from bad meetings. It's time to demand that we all be heard when we gather, not just on election day, but everyday.

Nations Defined by Agreement Rather Than Geography: Is This the Next Major Social Phenomenon?

Terry Mollner | Posted 04.13.2015 | Politics
Terry Mollner

Why should you or I have to wait until enough Republicans or Democrats join us in a majority for us to get done anything we think wise? Why don't we just get together with like-minded people and do it ourselves in the private sector?

Power to the People, But Really: Participatory Democracy in El Salvador

Beverly Bell | Posted 04.12.2015 | World
Beverly Bell

Estela Hernandez is both a member of the national assembly and a leader in the transformational social movement, La Coordinadora of the Lower Lempa and the Bay of Jiquilisco in rural El Salvador. Here, Hernandez talks about a radical vision and practice of direct, participatory democracy by the citizens.

Scottish Independence and Participatory Democracy

Harry Boyte | Posted 11.02.2014 | Politics
Harry Boyte

I've just returned from 10 days of travel with my family in Scotland. The "Yes" side in the battle over the referendum on Scottish independence, to be held September 19, is another example of aspirations for civic empowerment, especially among young people, appearing around the world.

Involving the Urban Poor in Inclusive Housing

Josephine d'Allant | Posted 10.11.2014 | Impact
Josephine d'Allant

Participatory planning integrates the poor and vulnerable into the housing development process and ensures that good intentions are translated into impact for the community.

The Juror Voices Project

Andrew Guthrie Ferguson | Posted 08.04.2014 | Politics
Andrew Guthrie Ferguson

Every year millions of Americans are summoned to jury service. Yet, no organized, centralized space exists to collect or share what jurors think about this experience. Juror voices are lost. And, this is a loss for the court system and American democracy.

The Iowa Caucuses in the Snow

Norma Cook Everist | Posted 03.24.2014 | Politics
Norma Cook Everist

The Iowa Caucuses were held Tuesday night. No national cameras or crowds, just a dark night, snow and below-zero wind chills.

Racing to the Top & Leaving Behind the Love of Learning

Susan Ochshorn | Posted 02.09.2014 | Education
Susan Ochshorn

Accurate information is one thing, but testing in overdrive is quite another; it is a lousy strategy for nurturing anyone's brilliance.

Occupy, Progressives and Democracy

John O'Kane | Posted 01.24.2014 | Politics
John O'Kane

If leaders with an agenda begin to surface from Occupy and take the electoral route, will they become only well-funded democrats? Can Occupy have an impact without moving inside; without mounting a full effort to reform the system?

Will Jordanians seriously consider decentralisation?

Daoud Kuttab | Posted 01.23.2014 | World
Daoud Kuttab

The never-ending search for an appropriate democratic model in Jordan continues without any result. Popular protests sped up the debate while the cur...

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and the Emerging Crisis of Legitimacy

Don Tapscott | Posted 01.23.2014 | Politics
Don Tapscott

Ford and his drug-dealing pals reflect a deeper problem than just substance abuse. It's another example of the growing crisis of legitimacy of our democratic institutions.

Understanding Syria: How a Cold Front Chilled the Damascus Spring

Zaman Stanizai | Posted 08.28.2013 | World
Zaman Stanizai

Why has all the political punditry failed in predicting an end to the Syrian crisis and why have the experts repeatedly miscalculated the fall of the regime in Damascus?

Revitalizing Democracy, Community by Community

Will Friedman, Ph.D | Posted 08.27.2013 | Politics
Will Friedman, Ph.D

Citizens, for their part, grow cynical and angry and learn nothing from poorly designed, empty-gesture or cynically rigged public participation exercises. As a consequence, the spiral of mistrust, gridlock and political dysfunction deepens.

The One We've Been Waiting For

Rob Pringle | Posted 04.15.2013 | Politics
Rob Pringle

The window of opportunity only shrinks. Now would be the time for the so-called Democratic base to signal -- via active constituency -- that we've got Barack's back. I'll call my congressional delegation if you call yours.

If Teachers Moderated Presidential Debates

Joseph Kahne | Posted 12.31.2012 | Politics
Joseph Kahne

I'd like a moderator with a backbone: someone who didn't just let two candidates share canned remarks that were often only loosely connected to the facts. Good teachers care if facts are accurate

Carne Ross: Participatory Democracy Opens Political Process

David Vognar | Posted 09.17.2012 | Politics
David Vognar

Former British diplomat Carne Ross doesn't know why we're spending so much time following the presidential campaigns. "We have been led to believe that one little vote every few years is meaningful when I think intuitively, secretly we know it's meaningless," he says.

The Citizen's Assembly: A Civic Infrastructure for Progressive Social Change

Harold A. McDougall | Posted 08.29.2012 | Politics
Harold A. McDougall

The current generation of protesters must be urged to develop an organizational structure, supple as well as sophisticated, that does not repeat the mistakes of the past.

Participatory Budgeting Lets Citizens Experiment With Economic Democracy

Michelle Chen | Posted 06.16.2012 | Politics
Michelle Chen

Who'd have thought that voting to add trash cans on the street or renovate public housing could be a democratic milestone?

A Green Tree in Your Heart

Robert Koehler | Posted 05.01.2012 | Chicago
Robert Koehler

It's a world of risky reaching out, groping for connection. What I got was music, art, story. What I got was politics, courage and craftsmanship, sometimes wrapped around anger, more often wrapped around love.

Gov 2.0 LA 2012 Speakers

Alan W. Silberberg | Posted 04.04.2012 | Technology
Alan W. Silberberg The speaker list for Gov 2.0 L.A. 2012 is out: @nigelcameron Nigel Cameron thinking | speaking | tweeting | blogging || future |...

The Case of the Missing White House Petitions

J.H. Snider | Posted 12.31.2011 | Technology
J.H. Snider

Given that We The People does in fact enhance the values of democratic deliberation and accountability, it may be unfair to emphasize the ways it fails to reach its potential.

Mic Check: Can You Hear Us, America?

Randall Amster | Posted 12.29.2011 | Politics
Randall Amster

We find these views to be mutually relevant... that all people, by virtue of their basic humanity, deserve the opportunity to live, work, and associate according to the dictates of their own consciences and capacities

Listening to Occupy Wall Street

John Fullerton | Posted 12.25.2011 | Business
John Fullerton

I'm a former banker, a one percenter, and I'm mad as hell too. Beyond my anger is a real concern for democracy, for America, for the people of the world, for the planet upon which we all depend, and for my children's future.