Welcome! Ongi! Bienvenido! 

Active citizens and participatory governments are fundamental features of every modern democracy. When it comes to addressing major global challenges — from education to welfare, migration to climate change — social movements and local governments serve as the practical rescue teams for fundamental rights and freedoms enshrined in the concept of people power: transparency, accountability, delegation and participation.

Modern Direct Democracy, our common issue of interest, activity, research and concern, has without doubt entered the world’s center stage. Never before in history has a single popular vote created such waves of debates around the options and limits of the initiative and referendum process as the United Kingdom’s June 23 popular vote to leave the European Union. While rightly described as a top-down plebiscite, #Brexit also has offered many lessons on how to design a public deliberation ahead of such a historic public decision.

Join us this autumn for the Sixth World Forum on Modern Direct Democracy in Donostia/San Sebastian, European Capital of Culture 2016.

In the new climate of change created in the city following the cessation of terrorist violence, San Sebastian’’s citizens and council have been working together to consolidate citizen participation in the different phases and areas of municipal decision-making,

We’’re transforming this beautiful city on the Atlantic Coast into a beacon of democracy and urban community living.

We welcome you to Donostia/San Sebastian’s story, and to this timely gathering that brings together the most innovative mayors, city officials, civil society activists, political party members, journalists and scholars from around the world. In the Basque country, we all will share our work and perspectives as we confront current and future challenges to democracy. The forum is hosted by The Muncipality of Donostia/San Sebastian and the Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy Consortium (which includes the Initiative & Referendum Institute, Democracy International, Zocalo Public Square and people2power.info) in cooperation with partners and sponsors like International IDEA, The Council of Europe and Swissinfo.ch.

Register now!

Bruno Kaufmann and Joe Mathews
Co-Presidents, Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy