Speakers plenar sessions

Edward Andersson

Edward is an expert on citizen participation. He is an associate of Involve UK, previously worked as Dialogue Manager for the UK Government's Sciencewise programme and is a Certified Professional Facilitator. He lives in Malmö in Southern Sweden and works with local government in Sweden and other European countries. 


Shari Davis

Shari is responsible for the strategic development and management of PBP’s network-building work and for launching new high impact participatory budgeting processes. She joined PBP staff after nearly 15 years of service and leadership in local government. As Director of Youth Engagement and Employment for the City of Boston she launched Youth Lead the Change, the first youth participatory budgeting process in the US, which won the US Conference of Mayors’ City Livability Award. Shari first got involved in city government in high school, serving as the Citywide Neighborhood Safety Coordinator on the Boston Mayor’s Youth Council and working at the Mayor’s Youthline. Shari is a graduate of Boston University’s Sargent College for Health and Rehabilitation Sciences and holds a master’s degree in anatomy and physiology.


Bruno Kaufmann

Bruno is the Global Democracy Correspondent at the Swiss Broadcasting Company. He also serves as president of the Initiative and Referendum Institute Europe, as fellow at ASU’s Center for Social Cohesion, and as co-president, of the Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy – which brings together academics, journalists, activists and other experts on initiative, referendums, and new forms of deliberative and participatory democracy. Bruno served between 2010 and 2017 as elected member of the executive branch of government in Falun/Sweden, where he coordinated electoral and democratic affairs at the municipal level.

Giovanni Allegretti, Architect and Urbanist

Giovanni Allegretti

Geovanni is an Architect and Urbanist, currently Senior Researcher at the Center for Social Studies (CES) of the faculty of economics at the University of Coimbra, where since 2006 is invited professor with the role of coordinator of the PhD program Democracy in the 21st century .



Josh Lerner is Executive Director of The Participatory Budgeting Project

Josh Lerner

Josh is Executive Director of The Participatory Budgeting Project. A non-profit organization that empowers communities across North America to decide how to spend public money. Josh completed a PhD in Politics at the New School for Social Research and a Masters in Planning from the University of Toronto. For over a decade, he has developed, researched, and worked with dozens of community engagement programs in North America, Latin America, and Europe.

Martin Sande

Founder and senior facilitator at Dialogues (svb). Dialogues (SVB) is a not-for-profit consulting organisation specializing in designing and facilitating dialogues in complex societal issues. Martin has been working for 25 years as a consultant,  exploring and prototyping how to meet complex challenges with a focus on dialogue, co-creation and trust. 



Helena Balthammar, Mayor in the City of Linköping, Sweden

Helena Balthammar

Helena is the Mayor of the City of Linköping, Sweden. She is also the chairman of the City Council. This means that she leads and coordinates the work of the General Assembly and its 11 geographical committees. She is also a member of the municipal council. She actively participates in the municipality's work on  complex issues. Linköping municipality invited people living in Berga or in some other way connected to the district for discussions on how to live and work in Berga. The purpose of the conversation was, among other things, to raise awareness of how residents and employees perceive  the district but also to have more people wanting to join and develop Berga.

Dr. Lex Paulson

Lex served as a mobilization strategist for the campaigns of Barack Obama in 2008 and Emmanuel Macron in 2017. He currently directs international projects on participatory democracy for D21 and teaches public advocacy at Sciences Po-Paris.




Anne Tortzen

Anne is an expert in citizen involvement and co-production. She is the founder and director of Center for Citizen Dialogue, a consultancy company advicing municipalites and other public organizations on citizen involvement. Anne has completed a PhD in public administration examining leadership of co-producing public welfare in collaboration with citizens and other stakeholders. On the basis of her research, she writes, advices and lectures on citizen involvement and co-production in Denmark and the other Nordic countries. 


Speakers parallel sessions

Róbert Bjarnason

Róbert is a successful entrepreneur that introduced the web to Iceland in 1993 and in 1995 to Denmark. He co-founding the non-profit Citizens Foundation in the year 2008 and has been working on developing open solutions for upgrading democracy and rebuilding trust in society ever since.



Hans Abrahamsson, Lecturer in Peace and Development Research, Department of Global Studies and Guest professor in Global Political Studies, Malmö University.

Hans Abrahamsson

Hans is a Lecturer in Peace and Development Research at the Department of Global Studies and is a Guest professor in Global Political Studies at Malmö University.  Hans’ research focus is on Citizens Dialogue, the interplay between invited political participation from the top and citizen participatory initiatives from below. He has studied Malmö and Gothenburg and the the tension between, on the one hand, the cities as nodes in global networks, contributing to sustainable social development or, on the other hand, cities tearingapart and becoming the battlefield for violent social conflicts.

Jez Hall, Participatory Budgeting

Jez Hall

Jez has worked to promot Participatory Budgeting (PB) in the UK since August 2000. As well as developing some of the first models of PB in the UK, since 2012 he’s been very involved in the UK PB Network and coordinates the social enterprise consultancy PB Partners. He has a special interest on developing the use of PB with young people. Jez has spoken at national and international conferences on PB, written many reports, toolkits and guides and contributed to published academic papers. He sits on the advisory board for the Participatory Budgeting Project, based in New York, has supported many of the recent Scottish PB initiatives, and been working since 2015 as a consultant for the World Bank on the Kenya Accountable Devolution Programme.”

Eva-Lena Gustavsson is the municipal council chairman of the municipality of Torsby

Eva-Lena Gustavsson

Eva-Lena is the municipal council chairman of the municipality of Torsby, as well as the chairman of the Citizens and Democracy Committee, which is responsible for the work on the Citizens' Budget. She is also Deputy for the Social Democrats in Värmland in the Riksdag Constitutional Committee with responsibility for Human Rights and Democracy.
Outside politics she is a theologian at the Torsby Missionary Assembly, part of the Uniting Church in Sweden .

Marianne Pekola-Sjöblom

Marianne is Head of Research at the Finnish Association of Local Authorities. Her special areas of focus include municipal democracy issues, inhabitants surveys and Nordic comparisons. She is also responsible for the research program for evaluating implemented and forthcoming reforms in the municipalities 2014-2018 (ARTTU2).



Karolina Haag Sjöberg

Karolina has worked with strategic development at Nässjö municipality since 2012. Her focus is on rural development in particular and therefore her MSc in human geography comes in handy. Karolina and her colleagues developed the participatory budget project “Half a million ideas” in 2015 and have been a member of the SALAR PB network since then. Karolina is passionate about public participation and has experience from many different kinds of citizen dialogue; she believes that dialogue plays an important role in creating a more sustainable society.

Jennifer Cronborn

Jennifer is a project leader at Nässjö Municipality. With a master`s degree in landscape architecture with focus on process management in urban planning; she has always been passionate about working with development issues concerning democracy, equality and civic participation. During the past year, Jennifer has been the project leader for implementation of participatory budgeting in Nässjö Municipality as a method for rural development.


Ivan Shulga

Ivan is Senior Specialist in the Russia country office of the World Bank. He is a project leader of the joint Russia Ministry of Finance and world bank project on strengthening Participatory Budgeting in Russia. He has also led a number of WB projects in Russia regions aimed at developing participatory practices and supporting local communities.


Anna Sukhova

Anna is Community Development and Social Protection Specialist in the World Bank Russia country office. She is coordinating regional and federal level initiatives aimed at developing participatory and community development practices in Russia.




Anna-Carin ”Anci” Magnusson, Municipal Council Chairman (S)

For many years, the municipality of Nässjö has been working on development issues in rural as well as urban areas. We have worked step by step, did not do everything at once. The decision to use participatory budgeting as a tool became a natural, good and important step for us to take. It was a natural way of working long-term, where citizens participate to influence the development of their society. It´s good because investments are located in rural areas and not only the city. It´s important because the residents of the municipality participate in everything from idea to decision.

Miguel Arana

Miguel is the director of citizen participation of the Madrid City Council, where the international participation project Consul www.consulproject.org is developed. He has worked designing and implementing digital tools and participation strategies in innovation laboratories as Medialab-Prado, European projects such as D-CENT and in different political spaces such as Ahora Madrid or the 15M movement.


Simon Cameron

Simon has worked in Scottish Local Government for over 14 years starting by developing one of Scotland’s largest vocational development programmes for young people and moving on to work directly with communities to help shape and deliver meaningful and effective services.  As chair of groups such as the Scottish Councils Equality Network and the Local Authority Complaints Handler Network, Simon has been involved in a range of national initiatives aimed at improving the life outcomes of individuals and communities across Scotland.  In being appointed as the Participatory Budgeting Development Manager for the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA), he is tasked with mainstreaming participatory budgeting into the day to day practice of all 32 local authorities. COSLA and Scottish Government recently announced their agreement that by 2021 1% (£100m) of all local authority budgets would be subject to PB.

Tong-Yi Huang

Tong-yi is professor and the chairperson of the Department of Public Administration at National Cheng-chi University. He also serves as the deputy director of Taiwan E-Government Research Center. His research interest includes deliberative democracy, e-governance, and public policy. Since he received his Ph. D. from the Department of Government at the University of Texas at Austin in 1998, Dr. Huang has put significant efforts in research and practice of deliberative democracy. In the past years, Dr. Huang has conducted deliberative forums on various issues, including national healthcare insurance reform, old-town renovation in Peitou District, casino in Penghu Island, nuclear-waste disposal facility siting in Taiwan, and ranking system reform for Taiwan’s liberal arts and social science journals. Some of them were pioneering forums held on TV and the internet. With his colleagues, Dr. Huang is currently the partner of Taipei City’s Wenshan and Xinyi District for participatory budgeting.

Michelangelo Secchi

Michelangelo is a Political Scientist, expert on citizen participation and collaborative technologies. Currently he is Researcher at the Center for Social Studies (CES) of the University of Coimbra, where since 2016 has been Scientific Coordinator of the research&innovation project EMPATIA (Horizon 2020), focused on the development of digital tools and methods for the design and management of participatory ecosystems.


Bernard le Roux

Co-founder and senior facilitator at Dialogues a not-for-profit consulting organisation specializing in designing and facilitating dialogues in complex societal issues. Bernard worked with mediation, facilitation and training over the past 20 years. He specialises in supporting groups and individuals in dealing with resistance, tension and conflict through the use of dialogue.

Yves Cabannes

Prof. Yves Cabannes is an urban specialist, activist and scholar. Over the past forty years he has been involved in research and development on city and housing rights issues and people-led initiatives. Since the mid 1990s, he supports, researches, teaches on and advocates for participatory budgeting in different regions of the world and has published widely on this topic. He held the Chair of Development Planning at the University College London / Development Planning Unit [2006 - 2014] and became Emeritus Professor of Development Planning in 2015. 

Martin Westin

Martin works with process design and facilitation of multi-stakeholder collaboration from a position within the Faculty of Education at Uppsala university. Additionally, he is currently doing a PhD within Environmental communication at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. Martin’s research and practice interest revolves around participatory planning in the context of wicked sustainability challenges.

Volker Vorwerk

Volker is managing director of buergerwissen, a german consultation office specialized in participatory budgeting (PB) and e-participation. buergerwissen organises the hole PB process in cooperation with city officials and stakeholder. buergerwissen has advised cities from 1,000,000 to 15,000 inhabitants since 2006. E.g. the PB in Stuttgart (600,000 inhabitants) involved 52,000 persons making

3,200 proposals, and 3,000,000 votes (range voting). Volker Vorwerk has an university degree in sociology and chemistry. He is lecturer at FernUniversität in Hagen in environmental mediation, e-participation, and technology assessment. Your questions are welcome and will be answered via email: vorwerk@buergerwissen.de

Dr. Kai-Ling Luo 


Kai received her PhD in Political Science from NCCU, Taiwan in 2016. Now she works as research fellow of European Research Center of Contemporary Taiwan (ERCCT), University of Tübingen, Germany, and also as the project manager of the governmental program ”Communication Platform for Civil Society and Science Technology Policy” in Taiwan. Based on the academic training program of comparative politics and public administration, she focuses on policy participation, group politics, participatory mechanisms, and democratization of public administration.

Christian Hübel

Christian is  Head of the Strategic Management of the City of Mannheim, the office responsible for the overall controlling of Mannheim’s Strategy and municipal administration operations, since September 2010. He was also co-responsible for the change² project aimed at modernizing the administrative processes. The City of Mannheim received the 2013 German Sustainability Award in the area of Governance in appreciation of its sustainable strategic management. Christian Hübel is engaged in publications and lectures on the issue of controlling and many other topics besides.

From 1999 until 2007 he was responsible for policy matters in the city’s former Department for Education, Culture, and Sport, where his tasks included e.g. the coordination and implementation of the strategy for the development and establishment of Mannheim’s music industry and the organization of the city’s marketing activities.

Gunilla Lundberg

Gunilla is the business manager and founder of IT Guide.
The IT guide takes advantage of the knowledge newly arrived young people have in computers, IT and mobile phones. Seniors have an interest in computers, but many also have insufficient knowledge and will not go on. The youth contribute to increasing the digital participation of seniors. Meanwhile, they have the opportunity to practice Swedish and learn more about the Swedish culture. The business has a clear win-win concept. IT guide started in Örebro in 2010 but is now available at libraries and meeting points in several municipalities around Sweden.

Ahmad Rifai

Ahmad is the co-founder and Director of Kota Kita Foundation in Solo, Central Java, Indonesia. Since 2010, Kota Kita has been working in different cities in Indonesia encouraging citizen participation and collective action in bringing about change. Currently, he promotes national platform for engagement and sharing called Urban Social Forum, and actively promotes Right to the City movement in Indonesian Cities and regional Southeast Asia. Kota Kita also establish Urban Citizenship Academy (UCA) where he actively involves assisting groups of young urban activist in different cities to develop useful project in the community level. His major interest and expertise are on community engagement and participation, urban poverty and informality, urban and social movement. Ahmad gained his MA in 2007 from UIN Yogyakarta and McGill University, and then finished his MSc in 2014 from Development Planning Unit (DPU) University College London. Ahmad was also a finalist of UK Alumni Award 2015 on Social Impact Category.

DU Jing

Director, Research Department III,China Development Research Foundation (CDRF);Assistant Research Fellow, Development Research Center of the State Council.

She is engaged in policy research since she joined CDRF in 2006. Her present research interests are Urbanization &. Local Governance; Public Finance, Budget Performance &. Budget Governance; the Third Section, NGOs &. The State-Civil Society Relationship; the Political Transition in Contemporary China.

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