Western democracy is facing a crisis of both legitimacy and confidence. Faith in politicians is at an all time low and turnout at elections has continuously fallen since the mid twentieth century.
At the same time as parliamentary democracy has faced this crisis, community democracy has grown immensely. Single-issue pressure groups, community associations, campaign groups and global alliances have become a huge force in modern society.
The recent “occupy movement” was an illustration of the power of that movement and as in the “Arab Spring” social networking played a prominent part in its activities.
The relation of civil society to our democracy is now a central question for the democratic health of our societies. How can we link civil society democracy with parliamentary democracy effectively and is it at all possible. This is the subject of this meetup. To lead us in this discussion we have,
Mark Barrett is a democracy activist and supporter of Global Net 21. He campaigns for a common welfare economy or real ‘third way’ to be run democratically by a constitutionally empowered civil society, not state or private business.Following a campaign to preserve the right to protest and assemble in Westminster (through the power of the picnic) Mark co-wrote the C421 Campaign for a 21st Century Constitution statement: http://www.peopleincommon.org/archive/C421.html More recently he co-convened the People’s Assembly Network www.peoplesassemblies.org which promotes and supports real democracy through grassroots democratic assemblies worldwide. He was also Press Officer for the G20 protests in 2009, one of the founders of “Democracy Village” which occupied Parliament Square in 2010, and a co-organiser of the 2011 St Paul’s demonstration which became ‘Occupy London.’
George Por is an evolutionary thinker-activist and a strategic learning partner to visionary leaders in business, government and civil society, in matters of culture change and sustaining the next level, innovation and resilience, and social media strategies.
He has been tracking the edge of innovation in electronic and social technologies for the last 30 years, and contributing to it, in the areas of collective intelligence, knowledge ecology, communities of practice, and personal mastery. He co-authored several books on related subjects and held Research Fellow positions at INSEAD and London School of Economics. With others he founded the School of Commoning aiming commons education to people, organizations, and communities, who can enhance their well-being by jointly cultivating and managing their common pool of resources, need to learn/discover/develop effective distinctions, tools and methods for doing so. The Commons is a rapidly growing social, cultural, and economic life form; supporting its development requires the development of new capabilities and perspectives, individual and collective.
Phillip Badger is the Communications Director for the Democratic Reform Party. Having grown up in Conservative Stratford-upon-Avon, Phillip rarely questioned the effectiveness of democracy. Since moving to London to study Politics at Goldsmiths College and having experienced working life at Westminster, he now believes there is a need to improve democracy and governance in the UK. Phillip also currently works for The Royal British Legion