Highlights of 2024 Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy, Bucharest

The sheer scale and diversity of people and ideas present at the 2024 #GlobalForum on Modern Direct Democracy last week in Bucharest, Romania, swept us off our feet.

🌍 The list of countries represented at the Global Forum is long and not limited to Romania, Moldova, Switzerland, Ukraine, Sri Lanka, Cameroon, Colombia, Chile, Brasil, Spain, Germany, France, Belgium, USA, Canada, Tunisia and Turkey, going well beyond Western-dominated debates about democratization and including crucial perspectives from the Global South.

🌄 Hence, there was a lot to learn and take in, starting with a powerful keynote and reminder of the mere brief Romanian (and Eastern European) experience with democracy by Adelina-Liana Țînțariu.

🌱 Inspiring and concrete examples of culturally and locally ‘rooted’ forms of participatory processes came from Tatiana Forero Torres of the Marea Digital civic tech platform in Colombia, Maria Luiza Freire of Brazilian Cuidadania Inteligente, in which cases technology plays an important part too.

💡 Obviously, and importantly, lights were shone on democratic practices and experiments in Eastern European countries. We learned, for example, about ancient Greek democratic practice and its relevance today, about the very rich landscape of North Macedonian referenda, and a inspiring example of citizen rotation juries in the city of Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Thank you to Erwin Mayer of our partner organization Mehr Demokratie, Marko Krtolica of the University of Skopje and Nikolay Bliznakov Neochron, Bulgaria.

💙 We loved to be able to host a session of our own together with a few Romanian city users of the Consul Democracy participation platform. Big thanks to Marian – Valerie Panait of Sinaia municipality, Cosmin Dan of Dumbravita municipality and Despina Ungureanu of Timisoara municipality, and to our partner Marius Stan of Code for Romania for his support.

🔀 Amazing to learn about the Yearly Global Report on Direct Democracy from Luciana Alexandra Ghica of Bucharest University annd Raul Magni-Berton. Fantastic to get in touch with International Observatory on Participatory Democracy (IODP) through Adria DUARTE GRIñO. Big thanks to Charlie Martial NGOUNOU from AfroLeadership for reminding us that ‘leadership is key’ for any democratic transition to be successful. Great to meet you and thanks for your energy Marina-Roxana Corneliu. And last but not least, thank you to adventurists Dann Espinoza and Kike Piña for putting smiles on our faces every day 🙂

Up to next year in Botswana !

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