DemocracyNext virtual launch event

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DemocracyNext virtual launch event

Join us as we celebrate the official launch of DemocracyNext on 15 September 2022, the International Day of Democracy.

When and where

Date and time



About this event

There is another democratic future beyond broken electoral politics or autocracy, and we want to help make it a reality. We have been working to set up a new organisation that will do just that – challenging the status quo with a vision of an alternative democratic future, and working to bring it to life.

DemocracyNext is an international non-profit, non-partisan research and action institute. Our mission is to build new institutions for the next democratic paradigm of citizen participation, representation, and deliberation. We want to create a more just, joyful, and collaborative future where everyone has meaningful power to shape their societies.

Join us as we celebrate our official launch on 15 September 2022, the International Day of Democracy.

For those not able to make it, we'll record the event and make it available on our website.


17.00-17.10 CEST Opening narrative “Imagine living in the next democratic paradigm”

A narrative inviting viewers to imagine living in 2030 and receiving an invitation to serve as a member of a new deliberative democratic institution.

  • Claudia Chwalisz, CEO and Founder of DemocracyNext

17.10-17.55 CEST Panel discussion “Next democratic paradigm: How do we get there?”

Why do we need to transition to the next democratic paradigm? What some of its central pillars could be? Where are we now? What can we build on?


  • Panthea Lee, Executive Director and Founder of Reboot


  • Hélène Landemore, Full Professor of Political Science at Yale University, author of Open Democracy, Strategic Advisor of DemocracyNext
  • Brenda Ogembo, Principal Clerk Assistant, Senate Legislative and Procedural Services - Parliament of Kenya
  • Art O’Leary, Secretary General to the President of Ireland, former Secretary to the Constitutional Convention
  • David Van Reybrouck, cultural historian, archaeologist, and author of Against Elections: The Case for Democracy


  • Claudia Chwalisz, CEO and Founder of DemocracyNext

17.55-18.15 CEST Q&A

18.15-18.30 CEST Conclusion and invitation to connect

DemocracyNext’s first projects, main activities, and ways to find out more, work with us, join the community.

  • DemocracyNext team: Claudia Chwalisz, Ieva Cesnulaityte, Jon Alexander, Hélène Landemore, Mark Cridge, and Fionna Saintraint

More about our panelists and speakers

Our panelists and speakers have been generously involved in the development of DemocracyNext's ideas and plans, and will continue to advise us in the future.

Claudia Chwalisz is the Founder and CEO of DemocracyNext. She is an author, activist, and entrepreneur working to build new institutions for the next democratic paradigm of citizen participation, representation, and deliberation. Previously, she established and led the OECD's work on innovative citizen participation. Claudia was part of the small group of experts who designed the permanent Citizens’ Assembly in Paris, as well as the Ostbelgien Citizens’ Council, the world’s first permanent deliberative body.

Panthea Lee is an ethnographer, organizer, writer, and facilitator working for structural justice and collective liberation. She builds and supports coalitions of community leaders, artists, healers, activists, and institutions to win dignity and joy for all. In 2010, she founded Reboot, an award-winning organization that helps communities expand collective imagination, find common cause, and craft a world rooted in care. She currently serves as its Executive Director. She is also a Practitioner Fellow at Stanford University’s Digital Civil Society Lab and an Applied Imagination Fellow at Arizona State University’s Center for Science and the Imagination.

Hélène Landemore is Full Professor of Political Science at Yale University (with a specialization in political theory). Her research and teaching interests include democratic theory, political epistemology, theories of justice, the philosophy of social sciences, constitutional processes and theories, and workplace democracy. She is the author of Democratic Reason and Open Democracy. She was recently Visiting Fellow at Oxford University (Center for the Ethics of AI).

Brenda Ogembo is a Principal Clerk Assistant and the Deputy Head of the Senate Liaison Office at the Parliament of Kenya. One of her key responsibilities is creatively finding ways to institutionalise representative public deliberation in the Kenyan Senate. Previously she was a Senior Programme Manager at SUNY Center for International Development. She holds a PhD in Political Science and Government from University of Birmingham.

Art O’Leary is the Secretary General of Electoral Commission of Ireland, Citizens’ Assemblies.From 2014-2021, he served as the Secretary General to the President of Ireland, responsible for advising the President on constitutional and all other matters relating to the presidency. He was also responsible for the administration of the President's office and staff at Aras an Uachtaráin. Prior to that, he was Secretary to the Constitutional Convention, which considered constitutional change in a wide number of areas, from the electoral system to marriage equality. Art also worked in the Houses of the Oireachtas for over 20 years in a number of roles.

David Van Reybrouck is a leading European intellectual, Flemish writer, archaeologist, cultural historian, poet, reporter, and pioneering advocate of deliberative democracy. He is among the founders of the G1000, and his work has led to trials in deliberative democracy throughout Europe. He is the author of Against Elections. His publications also include the theater pieces Mission and Para; The European Constitution in Verse, nominated for the European Book Award in 2009; the novel Drop Shadow; and the literary detective story The Plague. He holds a doctorate from the University of Leiden, and an honorary doctorate from Université Saint-Louis in Brussels. He is serving as NEH/Arendt Center fellow for 2020–21.