Democratic innovation - why we need it and how we can do it

Democratic innovation - why we need it and how we can do it


Trust Democracy and Koi Tū: The Centre for Informed Futures invite you to a webinar to learn from two world experts on democratic innovation.

Register here 

The webinar will explore the potential of citizens’ assemblies and Polis to include and empower the public in agenda setting and problem solving. 

Art O’Leary organised the first Irish citizens’ assembly on constitutional reform. He has been closely involved with the subsequent four citizen’s assemblies, which are transforming Irish politics.

Colin Megill, inspired by his time in Occupy Wall Street, went on to co-create Polis and the non-profit Computational Democracy Project. Polis is used extensively worldwide to facilitate large-scale online discussions on important issues. 


We have been slower than other countries in exploring new methods to involve the public in decision-making, but we're now starting to make progress with some public entities showing interest. For example, in 2022, Koi Tū organised a citizens’ assembly on behalf of Watercare to tackle the critical question of Auckland's future water sources. The assembly gave Watercare confidence that open dialogue and deliberation with members of the public can produce constructive solutions. Trust Democracy worked with Koi Tū to run a polis for the Te Manatū Waka Ministry of Transport to test the use of Polis for involving stakeholders in its project on the future of the land transport revenue system. The results of the polis fed into the next phase, with Koi Tū leading a series of representative deliberative events across New Zealand.

We’re at a critical juncture. Democracies around the world are under enormous pressure as a result of issues like climate change, poverty, housing and equity. Existing democratic processes are no longer sufficient to meet these challenges. Innovations that promote much greater public input and discussion will be required.

About the organisers

Trust Democracy is a non-profit member organisation that works to strengthen democracy through education, research and demonstrating new forms of democratic decision making.

Koi Tū is a non-partisan think tank at Waipapa Taumata Rau, University of Auckland that aims to understand the long term implications of today’s rapid transformations. Our goal is to provide a platform for the dissemination of knowledge and ideas that can help address complex and contested societal questions. 


Date and time

Tue, 13 Jun 2023 10:00 PM - 11:00 PM CEST


Online via Zoom (link will be sent to registered attendees)
15-20 minute presentations from each speaker, followed by Q&A.


Online Event