Who We Are

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Gianpaolo Baiocchi is Associate Professor of Sociology and International Studies, and Director of Development Studies at Brown University. He has been involved with PB since 1997, when he began his dissertation research on the topic in Porto Alegre. He has written widely on participatory democracy and participatory budgeting, in publications ranging from the American Sociological Review to the oston Review and Labor Notes. His comparative research on multiple cities with PB is the topic of his book Making Spaces for Civil Society (with P. Heller and M.K. Silva, 2008). His book on Porto Alegre’s PB (Militants and Citizens, 2005) has been taken up widely in planning and activist circles, and has led to a number of meetings with groups and individuals attempting PB campaigns in North America, from city officials in Los Angeles to community activists in Willimantic, CT.
Josh Lerner is a PhD candidate in Politics at the New School for Social Research. In addition to teaching at Fordham University and The New School, he has worked as a popular educator with the Center for the Urban Environment and as a community development specialist on UNDP projects in Slovakia. He became involved in PB in 2003, when he wrote a PB guide for the City of Toronto as his Masters thesis. Since then, he has researched PB in several countries in Latin America and Europe, and advised diverse organizations and institutions on PB, ranging from the Right to the City Alliance to Toronto Community Housing to the Municipality of Rosario (Argentina). He has published in venues such as The Good Society, Shelterforce, The Movement Vision Lab, and the Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting and Financial Management.


Michael Menser is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Brooklyn College. His research explores participatory democracy efforts at the local and global levels and the relationships among social movements, governments, and economic organizations. Menser has been an activist and organizer in New York since 1995 and has worked with a range of labor, neighborhood and direct action groups including the faculty union at CUNY (PSC-AFT), Movement for Justice in El Barrio and the Right to the City Coalition. He was an organizer of the NYC Social Forums in 2001, 2003, 2005, the US Social Forum (2007) and the CUNY Social Forum (2008) and was part of the group that founded the US Solidarity Economy Network, which connects groups promoting participatory economic initiatives at the local and regional level. Most recently he has been working with the Brooklyn Food Coalition to promote ecological sustainability and the solidarity economy in NYC.
Daniel Schugurensky was born and raised in Argentina, and now works as an Associate Professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE)/University of Toronto, where he is the Coordinator of the Graduate Program in Adult Education and Community Development and teaches a course on citizenship learning and participatory democracy. With a group of OISE students, he has organized two international conferences on Citizenship Learning and Participatory Democracy, held in Toronto in 2003 and 2008. He has conducted research on PB in Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and Canada, and is particularly interested in the educational dimension of participatory budgeting. Among his recent publications are “The Tango of Citizenship Learning and Participatory Democracy”, “This is our school of citizenship: Informal learning in local democracy”, “Who Learns What in Participatory Democracy? Participatory Budgeting in Rosario, Argentina” (with Josh Lerner), and “Participatory Budgeting in North America: The Case of Guelph, Canada” (with Elizabeth Pinnington and Josh Lerner).

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