Democracy Reinvented

Participatory Budgeting and Civic Innovation in America

Participatory budgeting is perhaps the greatest experiment in democracy that could redefine how public budgets are decided in the United States. A “revolutionary civics in action” that came to the U.S. in 2009, this global phenomenon bridges a citizen-government divide in not only what public projects get funded, but who decides.

But for participatory budgeting to work, the health of American democracy is a must. According to Hollie Russon-Gilman's new book, Democracy Reinvented, current citizen disaffection and mistrust of government have stalled the best impacts of participatory budgeting and many other advances in civic innovation. The political and institutional restraints we work under now need to be opened up, and with the help of digital tools and other technological innovations, more inclusive governance is possible.

Join us at Civic Hall for a conversation with New America fellow Hollie Russon-Gilman, along with John Paul Farmer and Story Bellows, on the state of civic innovation today and the digital tools that can foster a better democracy tomorrow.

Copies of Hollie Russon-Gilman's Democracy Reinvented will be available for purchase. Join the conversation online using #DemocracyReinvented and by following @NewAmericaNYC


Hollie Russon-Gilman
Fellow, Open Technology Institute and Political Reform Program, New America
Former Open Government and Innovation Adviser, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
Author, Democracy Reinvented: Participatory Budgeting and Civic Innovation in America

John Paul Farmer
Director, Technology and Civic Innovation, Microsoft NY
Former Senior Adviser, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

Story Bellows
Chief Innovation and Performance Officer, Brooklyn Public Library
Former Director, Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics, City of Philadelphia

This event is presented in partnership with Civic Hall.