Grounded in the idea of devolving power amongst communities, participatory budgeting (PB) means directly involving local people in making decisions on the spending and priorities for a defined public budget in their area. Since its beginnings in the late 1980s, the practice has spread across the world from Porto Alegre to New York City.

Although there have been examples of PB being implemented successfully in the UK, there is still plenty of opportunity for it to grow and spread. As we experiment, we can look to the success of the participatory budgeting movement in the US for inspiration.

To talk through the ideas and further implementation of participatory budgeting, we are delighted to welcome Josh Lerner, Executive Director of the Participatory Budgeting Project in New York and Alderman Joe Moore of Chicago’s 49th Ward, both of whom are at the centre of the growing PB movement in the US. They will be sharing their experiences of the spread of PB and considering how it might best work in a UK context. Carmen Piñeiro, an organiser for Community Voices Heard in Harlem will also be joining the discussion via videolink form the US.

On the back of our Building Local Activism programme, this seminar will explore how a shift of decision-making power to local people and local institutions can be brought about, particularly looking at the role of community organising bodies in promoting PB within the community.

To book a place for this event, please RSVP to Please feel free to bring your lunch; light refreshment will be provided.