We have to reimagine the democratic process by breaking out of the traditional governmental pattern of “decide, do, defend”. In an age of personalization, people feel left behind by government – decisions are remote and inflexible, and they cannot easily make real changes in their communities and societies. How can we develop a more participatory, conversational, Collaborative and inclusive way of democracy, where participation opportunities are paired with the skills for effective participation, and voices from every community are heard?
Is it possible to break up the concept of democracy as an every-five-year process and bring it directly to People’s daily lives? How can we engage in frequent democratic participation beyond the traditional spaces of government? How can we root social conversations into governance systems? Where could democracy be, on a positive timeline, after 10 years? What changes would be needed? How would decisions be different?
The conversation on Day 1 tackle the long-term vision in preperation for Day 2, where we will think about what the first year of that transformation looks like. What can we do in the present, within a year? What are some practical ways to put down the first brick of the new government model depicted? Decision makers, politicians, policy makers, local organizations, emerging or big corporations, citizens, and really anyone interested in social participation, engagement, democracy and collaboration are all welcome to the sessions.
Anthony Zacharzewski is the founder and president of The Democratic Society [DemSoc], a non-profit organization focusing on Civic participation and new models of governance. DemSoc works for greater participation and dialogue in democracy. Anthony is interested in supporting governments, parliaments and any organization in the process of decision making. He is also interested in understanding how the sporadic and developing practice of democratic participation can become a stable, sustainable way of working.