‘Our delegation from the New South Wales Parliament found the experience informative, educational, balanced and in many ways inspiring. It allowed us to explore different frameworks and methods of deliberative democracy and importantly, solidify views about how we could apply them back home. The presenters and facilitators took us on a path from discussion and philosophical perspectives, to concrete and real examples we could implement. Presenters were frank about what worked and what didn’t. It wasn’t a preaching exercise, rather it was an informed and authentic discussion that will no doubt lead to the improvement of deliberative democratic projects around the world.’
Jonathan O’Dea, Speaker of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly, Australia.

‘The real benefit is to learn from actual case studies from practitioners who have done it. The Summer School offers you the value of shared learning. You can’t get it anywhere else.’
Art O’Leary, Secretary General to the President of Ireland.


  ‘I want to participate again! So interesting, so useful!’
Wieke Paulusma, City Council Member for Groningen, the Netherlands.
  ‘The Summer School gave me lots of ideas for my work in Iceland. And a whole network of people doing similar things. If I have a question now, I know to whom I can send an e-mail!’
Sigrún María Kristinsdóttir, Project manager of Public Participatory Democracy in Kópavogur, Iceland’s second largest municipality.
  ‘In the City of Leuven, we are studying how sortition can complement what we already have. Drafting citizens by lot not only makes your group so much more diverse, it enhances trust, too. At the Summer School I got a number of tools. It was open, pleasant, informal, joyful and fun.’
Jan Mellebeek, Head of Local Policy Action, City of Leuven, Belgium
  ‘I learnt a lot about practical questions: random selection, process design, building links to the political agenda, etcetera.’
Paolo Ciampaglione is part of the ‘Future of Europe’ team at the European Committee of the Regions
  ‘Entering the field of deliberative democracy is like entering a new home. The Summer School allowed me to go through the drawers and discover what tools are there.’
Jorge Valladares, Head of the joint IDEA-Electoral Tribunal ‘Democratic Strengthening Project’ in Panama, Peru.
  ‘Democratic innovation is a fascinating, inevitable movement. It is happening everywhere! The Summer School is the place where people gather to learn and deepen their understanding.’
Bert Blase, Mayor of Heerhugowaard, the Netherlands
  ‘The Summer School is a really lovely opportunity to see how people are interested in deliberative democracy for a wide variety of purposes.’
Prof. Rachael Walsh, Constitutional law adviser to the Irish Citizens’ Assembly, Ireland
  ‘The Summer School is so inspirational. When you think you’re the only one, you meet all these people who stimulate your thinking and learning. Really great stuff, very practical too. The warmth, the solidarity… it’s wonderful!.’
Graham Allen, former UK Member of Parliament for Labour (1987-2017), founder of the Citizens Convention on UK Democracy

‘Picking different ideas from different stories, meeting new people, learning from others about what works and what doesn’t. There was a lot of expertise on diversity, on complexity.’
Sigrid Bosmans, Museum Director, Mechelen, Belgium

‘Honestly, I didn’t know it is such a movement! This is so relevant, not just for mayors, but for all local politicians, civil servants, and many others.’
Dirk Mattheeuws, Project employee on participation in the City of Mechelen, Belgium

  Great speakers, great organisation, great programme. And really interesting peer-to-peer contacts!’
Ilse Dries, Participation Coordinator at the Flemish Administration, Belgium