People-Powered Conversations … beginning in Canberra

A new association launched in Australia’s pivotal city: the Canberra Alliance for Participatory Democracy seeks to enliven and re-establish democracy “in our region” …. see

The Canberra Alliance for Participatory Democracy will address a widespread concern in the community that there is insufficient dialogue between citizens and government to make the democratic process work effectively. It will bring together individuals and civil society groups from across the Canberra region.

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Other similar bodies have been developed, or are forming around the world and in Australia (such as the Sydney Alliance). By using the strategies of community organising, group lobbying, citizens’ assemblies, citizen panels and citizen juries they have been very effective in bringing about significant change that would not otherwise have taken place.

The role of the Alliance is to increase the common good. This may result in actions at a local level or nationally. The strength of the organisation will be derived from the extent of its membership and the discussions that take place within and across the participating groups.

The objectives of the Association are:

  1. To empower Canberrans to engage in owning and planning for our common future and the common good.
  2. To develop and support citizen, community and civil society engagement in public decision-making.
  3. To facilitate opportunities for citizen input to government deliberations.
  4. To develop citizens’ capacity to hold governments and policy makers more directly accountable.


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