Participatory Governance Initiative hosts conference on democratic innovations, joins International Observatory

This month, the Participatory Governance Initiative, part of the School of Public Affairs, brought together 250 attendees from over 15 countries for the Innovations in Participatory Democracy Conference. Participants explored innovations in civic engagement and empowerment. 

The conference opened with training for those new to participatory budgeting. Participants also visited Central High School to learn more about PB in schools. Sessions throughout the conference were held in Phoenix and Tempe, engaging all in discussions around community development. 

The Participatory Governance Initiative had a strong presence at the conference, including students Won No, Madison Neanover, Omer Keidan and Oriol Aparicio Vidal, postdoctoral fellow Nicole Zilmer, and faculty members Geoffrey Gonsher, Amit Ron and Daniel Schugurensky.


As of March 2018, the Participatory Governance Initiative (PGI) of Arizona State University is an official member of the International Observatory of Participatory Democracy (IOPD). The IOPD is a space open to all cities and associations, organizations and research centers interested in improving the quality of municipal governance and sharing participatory democracy experiences. Its main working themes are citizen participation, open governments, participatory budgets, initiatives of deliberative and participatory democracy, and relations between citizenship and government in a wide sense. The current presidency of IOPD is held by the city of Montreal (Canada). Previous presidencies have been held by Barcelona (Spain), Quezaltenango (Guatemala), Lille (France), Buenos Aires (Argentina), San Sebastian-Donostia (Spain), Recife (Brazil), Nanterre (France), La Paz (Bolivia), Reggio Emilia (Italy), Lleida (Spain), Cascais (Portugal), Canoas (Brazil), Madrid (Spain) and Matola (Mozambique). Among other activities, IOPD organizes an annual international conference of cities, academics and experts in citizen participation. The 2018 Conference will be held November 25-28 in Barcelona, Spain.