As part of the Northern Ireland Civic Activism programme, we are supporting The Building Change Trust’s Democracy Day – a day long programme of events at the Belfast Imagine Festival on democracy in Northern Ireland.
Where: The MAC, 10 Exchange Street, Belfast, BT1 2LS
Register: via Eventbrite
We are living in turbulent times for electoral democracy. But it didn’t start with the Brexit referendum and the election of Trump. Over the period 2006 – 2016 the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index recorded a decline in democratic health for more than half the 167 countries it monitors.
In many parts of the world citizens are losing faith in the electoral system that had been considered the consensus vehicle of human progress over much of the last century. Northern Ireland is no exception to this trend.
Whilst populist demagogues would have us believe ‘strong’ leadership and a return to authoritarianism is the answer, proponents of deliberative democracy believe quite the reverse – that a key part of the solution to this malaise is a deeper involvement of citizens in decision-making.
The Building Change Trust’s Democracy Day seeks to explore the health of democracy in Northern Ireland and beyond through a deliberative lens – showcasing some groundbreaking experiments both locally and internationally and initiating a dialogue about what some of the solutions may be.
Democracy Day will start with a breakfast and drama performance at 8am, with events starting at 9am and running all day. The day will culminate by putting ‘Democracy on Trial’ in a mock court setting and a keynote talk on the ‘Post Truth era’ by Professor Bill Adair, the acclaimed US journalist, academic and co-founder of the Pullitzer Prize winning website Politifact.
All of the daytime events for Democracy Day are covered by a single registration – simply register once on any of the Democracy Day daytime event pages to attend as many events as you wish. All events are free – here’s the lineup for the day:
Getting Democracy Day started with a hearty breakfast!
Electoral democracy is creaking at the seams around the world and Northern Ireland is no different.
Forum theatre performance and discussion with the Waste No Time team.
See how Advice NI has been capturing the impact that Welfare Reform has had on citizens across Northern Ireland.
Try out Community Places’ participatory card game.
An opportunity to take part in a deliberative poll.
Exploring what open-policy making is and what it could look like in Northern Ireland.
The popular ‘Campervan of Dreams’ returns to the Belfast’s streets!
A snapshot of the Cedar Foundation’s Insight Project.
Exploring local attitudes to the siting of Renewable Energy Technology Infrastructure in rural communities.
Participate in the Holywell Trust’s Citizen Jury mock-up.
A quiz-style training session on fact-checking techniques from the team at FactCheckNI.
Exploring the use of Citizen’s Assemblies as a tool for deliberative democracy.
Showcasing some of the most exciting international projects using digital tools to engage citizens in democracy.
A court case that puts democracy on trial.
A talk by Bill Adair, Pulitzer Prize winning creator of PolitiFact, at the Conor Lecture Theatre, Ulster University Belfast.