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Initiatives

We believe that realizing and reimagining democracy for the 21st century requires new models of collaboration that distribute leadership and skills development, enabled by new technology. Each of our initiatives is developed through multi-organization partnerships with a commitment to sharing knowledge and resources in the commons. We work across geographies to convene teams of engaged individuals, young and old, that value community service and democratic participation. Our intention with each project is to create opportunities for learning and development that enable team members to develop leadership skills, experiment with new technology and experience the power of organizing to make change happen.

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Canada's Democracy Summit

DemocracyXChange is the annual summit for Canada’s emerging democracy sector to connect, learn and share. Its third meeting (DXC20) will be held in October 2020 with an ambitious, virtual program comprised of keynote sessions, workshops and networking opportunities.

DemocracyXChange is a unique engagement opportunity for a wide range of democracy practitioners including community groups, non-profits, civic-tech start-ups, academics, public servants, grassroots activists, private companies and members of the general public.  Previous speakers include Maria Ressa, Chenjerai Kumanyika, Astra Taylor and Sarada Peri.

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Co-Presenting Partners

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Civic Campaign Toolkit

DemocracyKit is an initiative that uses technology to open access to information and tools to reduce barriers for individuals and teams working to drive change – whether through a run for office or launching a ground-up civic campaign. Community members contribute articles or templated resources under a creative commons licence and DemocracyKit provides self-guided courses on topics such as social media and data management along with videos where seasoned civic leaders provide personal reflections about their experiences. In the 2017/18 municipal election cycle, DemocracyKit forged a partnership with public libraries in Toronto and Ottawa to run a training series for new municipal campaign volunteers at branch locations across each municipality.

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Open Democracy Fellowship

Sabreena Delhon is the inaugural SFU Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue Open Democracy Fellow. Co-created by Open Democracy Project, the Fellowship will focus on supporting Canada’s emerging democracy sector through responsive community building activities that convene, connect and share knowledge with local changemakers, non-profits and public sector institutions. The Open Democracy Fellow will have the additional designation of SFU Visiting Fellow, Open Democracy at Massey College at the University of Toronto.

“Recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic may be the challenge of our generation and will require shared knowledge and local leadership. This Fellowship will work across political orientations, values and borders to rebuild a more inclusive, democratic and just society.”

– Chris Cowperthwaite, Co-Chair, Open Democracy Project

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Sabreena Delhon,

Open Democracy Fellow

Under many pressures, we arrive at a critical moment in which to define the next chapter for democracy in Canada.

As we navigate this crisis, a transformation is unfolding as a new wave of civic leaders challenges traditional power structures. Emphasizing openness and transparency, this nascent community is embracing innovative ways of organizing.

I have been a contributor to the democracy community since 2016. I volunteered at the first DemocracyXChange (DXC) summit in 2017 and attended DXC19 while on maternity leave. Most recently, I’ve been a Senior Program Advisor at Open Democracy Project working on DXC20, DemocracyKit and the creation of OpenDemocracy.ca. I am drawn to this work and community because it is practical, creative and highly effective. It’s where I feel inspired and at home…

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Supporters

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