Participedia-CERi Summer School

on Radical Democracy

Meeting dates included May 18 and 25, 4-6 pm Pacific time (On-line via Zoom) and June 4-10, 9-5 pm (In-person). The Summer School was hosted by Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The summer school was a 5-credit program open to all qualified graduate students and a limited number of qualifying undergraduates, with a non-credit option for community leaders, participatory and deliberative democracy practitioners, and postdocs from Simon Fraser University and beyond. The theme of the Participedia Summer School 2023 was Radical Democracy.


Participedia ( is a global network and crowdsourcing platform for researchers, educators, practitioners, policymakers, activists, and anyone interested in public participation and democratic innovations.


The Community Engaged Research Initiative (CERi) at Simon Fraser University ( promotes principles of participation, cooperation, social transformation and knowledge translation to lift up and strengthen the capacity of SFU's researchers and students, to engage respectfully and ethically with community members.

Summer School Overview

The CERi-Participedia Summer School (June 4 to June 10)* – organized under the theme "Radical Democracy", aims to brings together leading experts, researchers and graduate students and community leaders, activists and practitioners for a week of workshops, discussion, dialogue, community events and field trips. We anticipate students will be from the social sciences, including political science, political philosophy, media and communications, sociology, cultural studies, anthropology, economics, environment and related disciplines. Together, with the summer school team and invited guests, they will explore what it means to radically re-imagine, research and practice democracy in their communities and in everyday life.  

Participants will have the opportunity to:

  • Be active learners throughout the week and will prepare in advance for in-person learning via two pre-meetings and flipped classroom activities..
  • Attend daily engaged programming with world-renowned academics and practitioners.
  • Participate in lively discussions.
  • Take part in presenting research and analysis of democracy case studies as well as producing and showcasing a creative knowledge mobilization capstone project.

Practitioners, community leaders and young scholars are invited to register for this interdisciplinary program for a unique opportunity to explore the diverse meanings of radical democracy. 

*Meeting dates also include May 18 and 25, 4-6pm (PST) via Zoom

Themes and Objectives of the Summer School 

Each day of the program will focus on a particular theme related to radical democracy including: The Lived Experience of Democracy; Power and Disruption; Creativity and Futurity; Research and Practice of Democratic Agency; Care, Inclusion and Decolonization; Democracy and Ecology.

The course has three main objectives:

  1. Participants will explore the dimensions of radical democracy, the different visions, ideas and schools of thought, its possibilities and limits, and related theoretical debates.
  2. Participants will analyze practical cases of democratic innovations and/or social movements in light of the theories of radical democracy. 
  3. Participants will synthesize and present their learnings – drawn from theory and practice – by co-designing a radical democratic initiative within a local, community or regional context and applying a creative communications approach to their plans.