Josh Lerner

Josh Lerner

Executive Director, Participatory Budgeting Project

Josh is co-founder and Executive Director of the Participatory Budgeting Project (PBP), a nonprofit organization that empowers people to decide together how to spend public money, across the US and Canada. Through programs that PBP has launched and supported, over 300,000 people in 20 cities have directly decided how to spend $240,000,000. This work has been recognized by The White House as a model for open government, and by the Brown Democracy Medal as the best practical innovation advancing democracy around the world. Josh completed a PhD in Politics at the New School for Social Research and a Masters in Planning from the University of Toronto. He is the author of Making Democracy Fun: How Game Design Can Empower Citizens and Transform Politics, Everyone Counts: Could Participatory Budgeting Change Democracy?, and over 20 articles.


Why do you believe innovations in participatory democracy are important?

If we want to restore trust in our democracy, we need to transform it. We need to think beyond the ballot box, to expand our imagination of how people can participate. By inviting people to make real decisions together, we can inspire a new generation of democracy.


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