Globally, democracies are under pressure - and local government is no exception. A crucial factor for citizens is real power and influence over the decisions that effect their lives. State and local governments are implementing new measures to enable more direct and meaningful citizen participation, but it's rare for real power to be given freely.

So what's the catch? Who supports true citizen empowerment and why? What power-sharing arrangements are on the table, and on what issues? What can you do to make sure democratic innovations like citizen juries and participatory budgeting aren't a passing fad, but the new way your city, state and nation do business?


  • Ms Maria Katsonis - Future Melbourne 2026 Ambassador; Director Equality, Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet
  • Ms Samah Hadid - Human rights and humanitarian campaigner (via skype)
  • Mr Nicholas Reece - Principal Fellow, University of Melbourne
  • Dr Travers McLeod - CEO Centre for Policy Development, Melbourne
  • Host/MC Dr Leslie Cannold - Ethicist and public educator


  • Bookings required
  • Location: Deakin Edge - Federation Square, Melbourne
  • Time: Wednesday 17 February 18:00 - 19:30