Francesco Tena

Francesco Tena

West Coast Project Manager, Participatory Budgeting Project

Francesco guides and grows PB on the West Coast. He started his career as a teenager in City Hall, surrounded by adults who actually listened. Since then, Francesco has been dedicated to addressing youth employment disparities, developing meaningful civic engagement in local government, and empowering people to take control of their future (and their budgets). Prior to joining PBP, Francesco worked in youth development for 10 years. At the Boston Public Health Commission, he supported programming designed to diversify the pool of health professionals in Boston. Francesco then went on to lead youth civic engagement for the City of Boston as the Manager of the Mayor’s Youth Council. In this capacity, he oversaw the first three cycles of Youth Lead the Change, the nation’s first youth exclusive PB process and winner of the 2016 Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation. Francesco is also a tech enthusiast and wannabe chess master.


Why do you believe innovations in participatory democracy are important?

Democracy, by its nature, is always changing and evolving. Couple that with advances in technology, society, and culture and you come to a pretty obvious conclusion: if we’re not innovating, we’re going backwards relative to everything else.


What do you hope to see at the 2018 Innovations in Participatory Democracy Conference?

I want to see more art/design/culture and how that plays a role in civic engagement.