PB Network Recap and an Invitation to Innovate

At the Participatory Budgeting Project (PBP), we’re counting down the days until March 8th, 2018, when we kickoff the international Innovations in Participatory Democracy Conference and welcome 250 community leaders, government officials and staff, practitioners, researchers, funders, young leaders, and technologists to Phoenix, Arizona.

Our team is eager to build on connections, conversations, and learnings that came out of our first-ever Summer Implementation Institute. We’re especially excited to dive deeper into discussions of participatory practices that connect civic engagement with real empowerment at the Conference. During the Institute this summer, the North American Participatory Budgeting Network connected PB leaders with experts doing innovative work in participatory democracy more broadly.

Check out recordings, reviews, and resources from our Summer Implementation Institute here!

Summer sessions and resources set us up for more learning – and action!

Over the course of four sessions, we discussed how to rock the PB vote and worked backwards through four key phases of PB – talking through how to cultivate healthy dialogue in diverse groups, ways to collaborate with community based organizations to conduct record-breaking outreach, and centering community experience in building steering committees.

To accomplish all this, we worked with North American PB Network Members and connected them with experts who work on authentic civic engagement strategies from Rock the Vote, the Jefferson Center, the Asian Pacific Environmental Network, and Public Agenda. Together, our presenters led us beyond delivering content by building a community of practice. Read more on lessons learned from our Summer Implementation Institute here!

Isaac Jabola-Carolus presenting at the PB Network’s Summer Implementation Institute in NYC.

To wrap up the summer, we’re sending out a call to put all this learning into action – and to continue building our community of practice together.

We invite you to attend the 2018 Innovations in Participatory Democracy Conference to connect with folks across practices in participatory democracy, to share stories with one another, and to return to your communities equipped to create real change.

Register with early bird prices for the 2018 Innovations in Participatory Democracy Conference.

At this Conference, you’ll meet many of the experts who led and participated in the Summer Implementation Institute, and those in our North American PB Network – including Thea Crum.

As the Great Cities Institute’s Director of Neighborhoods Initiative, Thea plays a key role in implementing and growing PB in Chicago. She’s empowered young people in Chicago through PB in Schools and has shared about her work all over the world.

Most recently, Thea presented on a PB panel at the American Institutes of Architects Recast Conference in New Mexico. She shared how exciting it was to expose a whole new group of folks to PB. Before presenting in New Mexico, Thea presented about PB in Portugal. Read more about Thea’s work and what she took away from presenting about PB Chicago at an international conference in Portugal here!

In June, 2017, North American PB Network Member Thea Crum presented at the International Energy & Smart Cities Conference in Portugal. Click to read more about her experience!

We can’t wait for Thea to share more about her experience supporting the first PB process in the US to use tax increment financing funds, her work running PB in high schools, and more at the Innovations in Participatory Democracy Conference.

By building on conversations from this summer that featured experts within and beyond PB, and by lifting up work like Thea’s, the 2018 Conference has lots to offer. Register now to join Thea, fellow PB Network Members, community leaders, government officials, practitioners, researchers, educators, technologists, and more in Phoenix, Arizona.

We hope you’ll also submit your proposal to lead a session and share your expertise with an international audience!

About Ashley Brennan

Ashley transforms public school systems so that they empower students with real power over the real money that impacts their lives. She strengthens local civic engagement efforts across North America by supporting a Network of civic leaders and co-coordinating convenings to connect government officials, researchers, young people, and community leaders. To elevate this work, and the work of her team, Ashley manages PBP’s communications and curates how we tell our stories.