Fingal will be the epicentre of democratic innovation this summer as the World Democracy Convention, also known as DemCon, is opening its doors at the Bracken Court Hotel in Balbriggan this July.
The emphasis of this convention, brainchild of Rush resident Dr. Roslyn Fuller is on fun and momentum-building. High-profile speakers like David Graeber of Occupy Wall Street fame, Eleonora Evi MEP with the Italian Five-Star-Movement, and Universal Basic Income expert Scott Santens, will share a stage with homegrown talent innovating in community-led social enterprise, participatory budgeting, and, of course, citizens’ assemblies.
“Ireland is one of the uncelebrated global leaders in real-life democratic innovation,”
says former Reuters journalist Patrick Chalmers, whose documentary series “All Hands On”, which features the Irish Citizens’ Assembly, will be screened at DemCon.
Technology will also play a large role at the convention, with tech organisations like MiVote in Australia and ProCivis in Switzerland in attendance to share their knowledge on everything from blockchain to user-ID solutions.
One of the world’s foremost experts on applying ancient Athenian democratic principles to modern political systems, Dr. Fuller set up the Solonian Democracy Institute, which hosts the event, to create a deeper, more responsive democracy which places citizens at the centre:
“For the first time, DemCon brings together experts from a variety of fields to consider how we should take our democracy into the 21st century. DemCon begins where a lot of other efforts fizzle out – with concrete, inter-disciplinary solutions to drive deeper citizen participation. People are invited to come, not just to talk about what could be done, but to learn from people who are actually deeply involved in those projects.”
DemCon is designed as a highly interactive convention, featuring keynotes, workshops and what the organisers call “Snapshots”, short presentations from community groups and academics on the impact of democracy-focused projects they have run around the world.
The convention is open to the public and tickets for the event, which takes place from the 18th to 20th of July at the Bracken Court Hotel in Balbriggan are on sale for 25 EUR (includes lunch) for the entire convention or 15 EUR per day at www.demcon.org