Citizens' assemblies - Max Rashbrooke

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By mid-October, Wellington City Council will have completed its first citizens' assembly, only the second ever to be run in New Zealand but a democratic innovation increasingly popular worldwide. Citizens' assemblies bring together representative groups of ordinary people to advise public bodies and, in some cases, take decisions on key issues where politicians have been unable to make progress or need to understand what trade-offs the public wants made. Such innovations have the potential to restore trust, solve major public problems, and generally bring democracy into the twenty first century.  This lecture will discuss the potential – and possible pitfalls – of Wellington's latest democratic experiment.

Max Rashbrooke is a Wellington-based writer and public intellectual, with twin interests in economic inequality and democratic renewal. His latest book is Too Much Money: How Wealth Disparities are Unbalancing Aotearoa New Zealand, based on research he carried out as the 2020 J. D. Stout Fellow at Victoria University of Wellington. His previous works include Government for the Public Good: The Surprising Science of Large-Scale Collective Action and Inequality: A New Zealand Crisis, both published by Bridget Williams Books. A senior research fellow at Victoria University’s School of Government, he writes a fortnightly column for The Post, and his work appears in outlets such as the Guardian and Prospect magazine. His talk on upgrading democracy has been viewed 1.5m times.


October 24th, 2023 from  5:30 PM to  6:45 PM
2/57 Willis St
At the back of Unity Books
Wellington, WGN
New Zealand