Democracy in Practice is an organisation dedicated to democratic innovation, experimentation, and capacity building currently working in Bolivia. Their mission is to transform how people envision democracy, and to develop innovative ways for even the largest organizations, communities, and governments to be truly democratic not just in theory or in name, but in practice.
Democracy in Practice are currently in their third year of school-based projects that reinvent student government, combining democratic experimentation with the a focus on providing young people with an experiential democratic education.
In this episode I speak with Adam Cronkright who co-founded Democracy in Practice in 2013. Before engaging in democratic innovation in Bolivia, his passion for democracy led to a broad base of experience, which included an independent study of the jury system; dialoguing with members of the 2011 Icelandic Constituent Council; co-facilitating two NYC General Assemblies; co-writing the Spokes-Council Proposal at Occupy Wall Street; and teaching and learning at the democratically-run Brooklyn Free School.
In the next episode of Real Democracy Now! a podcast I’ll be talking to Carolyn Lukensmeyer the current Executive Director of the National Institute for Civil Discourse in the US and founder of America Speaks. I hope you’ll join me for that episode.
Each of these facilitators has over 20 years experience working with communities and all of them are award winning facilitators of deliberative mini-publics.
With the growth in popularity of deliberative mini-publics there has been a increased demand for people to facilitate these processes. In today’s episode I speak to two such people – Emily Jenke from Democracy Co in South Australia and Titus Alexander from Democracy Matters the UK.
Emily Jenke has been facilitating community engagement processes for nearly years, most recently moving into supporting deliberative processes. Emily was in the midst of facilitating one of Australia’s largest deliberative mini-publics with 350 people considering the future of nuclear fuel storage in South Australia when we did this interview.
Titus Alexander is a facilitator, educator and community capacity builder. Titus trained the other facilitators for the two Citizens’ Assemblies that Professor Graham Smith described in Episode 8. He is also the author of Practical Politics: Lessons in Power and Democracy a text book on learning practical politics, which is aimed at encouraging students and lecturers to develop political skills to create a more inclusive, empowering democracy.