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Join us at our 2018 conference

We are proud to partner with a team of civic innovators to present the Innovations in Participatory Democracy Conference on March 8-10, 2018 in Phoenix, AZ.

The conference will bring together more than 250 community leaders, government officials and staff, practitioners, researchers, funders, young leaders, and technologists to share, explore, and deepen the practices that are transforming communities through participation.

If you’re a civic leader, we hope you will:

  • Join Us – register today for discounted, early bird pricing!
  • Propose a Session – our call for proposals is open, submit your session idea today!

Innovations in Participatory Democracy Conference

Become a PB leader, sign up for a training

Training-round.pngONLINE – We are presenting a 2-part PB 101 training that will introduce you to the basics of what makes a PB process successful and how to bring it to your community.

  • Dates: Mondays, October 16 & 23

  • Time: 11am-1pm Pacific  /  2-4pm Eastern

  • Cost: $109 for non-members / $99 for IAP2 members & affiliates

  • Click here to register now

NYC – Join us on Nov 30 for a full day, in-person training where you will practice PB facilitation, develop an advocacy plan to launch PB in your community, and learn scripts for overcoming common objections and building community support.

  • Date: Thursday, November 30

  • Time: 10am-5pm Eastern

  • Location: 42 Broadway, Manhattan, NY 10004

  • Cost: $225 early bird (before November 1) / $285 (after November 1)

  • Click here to register now

Phoenix, AZ – Choose your PB path before the International Conference on Participatory Democracy – two pre-conference trainings are available for leaders who are ready to start PB or those who have already launched a process and are ready to make their process better!

Our team is growing!

Now Hiring: Community Data Manager, NYC
Our ideal candidate is as passionate about digital technology as about community engagement and is equally comfortable working with software developers and explaining how data and tech work to non-technologist community members. Read more and apply by 10/6!


We are very excited to welcome Mariko Davidson, from Microsoft’s Technology & Civic Innovation team, to our Board of Directors. Mariko’s work with cities, specializing in governance, data policy, and transportation will help PB continue to become a deeply integrated part of how government works.

We have also added several new leaders to our Advisory Board including:

  • Giovanni Allegretti – Centre of Social Studies – Coimbra, Portugal

  • Shymaine Davis – CPA – Baltimore, MD

  • Michael Freedman-Schnapp – Forsyth Street – New York City

  • Alexander Kolokotronis – Yale University – New Haven, CT

  • Richard Raya – City of Oakland – Oakland, CA

  • David Vlahov – Yale University – New Haven, CT/New York City

  • Anne Stuhldreher – City of San Francisco – San Francisco, CA

Read longer biographies here.

To join our team and help us expand the work of PB, become an amplifier today!

Scaling up budgets, impacts, and ambitions for PB

Participatory budgeting is not just for local budgets. Building on the thousands of local-level PB success stories in cities around the world, several new processes have scaled PB up to the state, province, and national level.

On our blog, we dive into new processes in Ontario, South Australia, Scotland, and Portugal to learn how to scale up the impacts of PB, at higher levels of government.


Youth leadership for better budgets

The Phoenix Union High School District recently expanded its PB process to include 10 public high schools so that even more students will have direct control of school district funds.

Students in Phoenix are showing what real civic education looks like!

Watch them in action in our new PB in Schools Video:


Meanwhile, we’re partnering with CORO New York Leadership Center on a PB Youth Fellows Program, to train young leaders to engage their peers in public decisions through PB. They will help lead outreach efforts, organize events, and facilitate discussions to develop project proposals in PBNYC this year. Young people aren’t waiting to lead; they’re leading right now with PB!


Open data for informed decision-making

Our Participation Lab has been busy building data tools to support community decision-making. Access to better data can drive better, more equitable decisions. It’s awesome and important — here’s why:

How might knowing more about needs in your city help you suggest more relevant projects or strengthen projects that serve a lot of people?

If you knew about projects that had been on ballots in your city the last few years, how might it help your project development? How might an archive of those projects inform you as an elected official?

To find out, we’re mapping PB ballot projects, to visualize community-level information — read about the ways PB processes around the world use maps and how PBP is joining in. Thanks to our friends at CARTO, our maps are more useful – and more beautiful – than ever! Check out this map of PB Ballot Projects in Chicago.

All this work isn’t going unnoticed. The Booth Ferris Foundation stepped up to fund the development of a community data hub, where PBP will collect and share PB ideas and project proposals. Thanks to the good work already happening with open data, we hope to connect the dots between community needs, ideas, and funded projects.

Thank you for your support! None of this work for real change and deeper democracy could exist without leaders like you.

Love and democracy,

PB campaigns in action

Working to build community and campaign power with PB.


PB in the news

  • Participatory Budgeting Fans Say State DOT’s Embrace Is “Revolutionary”. Next City. (September 20, 2017)

    Applications to Caltrans for the $25 million in planning grants must include an explanation of how local residents and community-based organizations will be “meaningfully engaged in developing the final product,” especially those from disadvantaged and low-income communities, and how the final product will address community-identified needs. The application guidelines specify participatory budgeting as a best practice for meeting that requirement.

  • What’s Informing Our Thinking. Children’s Aid Society. (June 2017)

    In schools, PB could help students, families, and teachers identify new solutions to community needs. It could create a more powerful incentive for them to engage in community schools, and help school leaders create a climate of collaboration, learning, and student success.

  • Ideas We Should Steal: Participatory Budgeting. The Philadelphia Citizen. (July 12, 2017)

    Mayor Kenney could direct $1 million to residents, which would be a mere fraction of the city’s $4.38 billion budget. Or what if the Mayor handed the Mayor’s Fund for Philadelphia over to constituents to spend? It would be a truly progressive and inclusive nod to democracy when we most need it.

  • How Cities Can Start Participatory Budgeting. National League of Cities. (June 26, 2017)

    The nine months of intensive planning and engagement of local stakeholders set this PB process up for tremendous success. As PB continues to spread to cities, counties, districts, schools, public housing developments, and other types of public agencies, many community leaders are asking the same questions Councilmember Licata asked as he considered launching PB in Seattle.

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Our work is only possible due to the generous support of individuals, public funding, and our foundation partners:PBP Funders Fall 2017