Global Learning on Democratic Innovation: A Webinars Series

Club de Madrid, Public Agenda and Participedia will hold a series of seminars aimed at bringing to American reformers, thought leaders, policy-makers and civil society organisations examples of innovative approaches that have helped strengthen democracy in other countries.

WEBINAR 4: Big trends in democratic innovation and inclusive civic engagement – 17:00 EDT, 23:00 CET.

This webinar will bring together a global group of panelists and moderators to explore innovative approaches countries are taking to engage citizens in public policy, including minority populations and vulnerable groups. Featuring speakers from Bolivia, Australia, and the United States, this event will draw upon the experience of leaders who have used innovative and successful approaches to catalyze citizen participation in making important decisions.

Speakers include:
Jorge Fernando Quiroga, President of Bolivia (2001-2002), Member of Club de Madrid.
Nicole Curato, Associate Professor, University of Canberra; Author, Journal of Deliberative Democracy
-Martín Carcasson, Founder & Director, Center for Public Deliberation; Professor, Colorado State University
Moderator: Matt Leighninger, Interim Co-President and Director of Public Engagement, Public Agenda

WEBINAR 3: Healing racial wounds and promoting racial justice – The experience of Truth and Reconciliation Commissions around the world – MAY 6, 12:00 EDT, 18:00 CET

This webinar discussed healing racial and ethnic discrimination and restoring a sense of justice after periods of conflict. In particular, we examined lessons learned from truth and reconciliation commissions. Featuring speakers from Canada and the United States, this event drew upon the experience of leaders who have used innovative and successful approaches to heal discriminatory histories and take steps to move forward.

Speakers include:
-Kim Campbell, Prime Minister of Canada (1993) and Member of Club de Madrid
-Bonny Ibhawoh, Professor, McMaster University; Participedia
-James Malloy, President, International City / County Management Association
-Moderator: Martha McCoy, Executive Director, Everyday Democracy

WEBINAR 2: Immigration & Social Cohesion – Inclusive approaches to give recent immigrants a voice – APRIL 29, 14:00 EDT, 20:00 CET

Factors such as inequality, social exclusion, climate change and violent conflict have contributed to a surge in immigration throughout the world. As local communities are transformed by the arrival of immigrants, meeting the challenges of social cohesion requires inclusive approaches to public policy, public discourse and community engagement. Join us for a conversation with leaders from around the world to discuss inclusive strategies to build stronger and more cohesive communities.

Laura Chinchilla, President of Costa Rica (2010-2014), Vice-President of Club de Madrid
Doug Saunders, International Affairs Columnist, The Globe and Mail; Richard von Weizsäcker Fellow, Robert Bosch Stiftung
Rachel Peric, Executive Director, Welcoming America
Moderator: Maria Elena Agüero, Secretary-General, Club de Madrid

WEBINAR 1: Building bridges in divided societies – APRIL 22, 12:00 (noon) EDT / 18:00 CET

The first seminar presented innovative and successful approaches to appease tensions in polarized societies through policy discourse and policy action.

John Bruton, Prime Minister of the Republic of Ireland (1994-1997), Member of Club de Madrid
Hanna Israel, Project Lead for My Country Talks, Zeit Online
Kristin Hansen, Executive Director, The Civic Health Project
-Moderator: Milburn Line, Senior Associate Democracy and Governance, Tetra Tech.


People around the world are asking how we can work in new and better ways. And their perception that democracy is not responding to their needs is not misguided: Nearly 70% of countries covered by The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index recorded a decline in their overall score in 2020. 

Subsequently, citizens have been expressing an increased distrust of their leaders and institutions. This has been going on for some years now, but COVID-19 has deepened such views. The public health and economic crisis triggered by the pandemic has also cast a dark shadow on enduring racial, ethnic, economic, religious, and gender inequities that are now, more than ever, shaking the foundations of democratic societies.

The US is no exception to these trends. In its Yankelovich Democracy Monitor research, Public Agenda found that Americans respond enthusiastically to new democratic practices and reforms, especially ones that give citizens a greater voice in the decisions that affect their lives and that promise to establish more equitable, deliberative, collaborative relationships between citizens and governments.