The Alternative University Project (AltU) grew out of the frustration felt by a group of McGill and Concordia University students about the growing inaccessibility of the Quebec higher education system. The AltU is a collection of classes taught by professors, students, community members, or through innovative communal formats on subjects which range from “Knitting” and “Programming” to “Introduction to Anarchism” and “New Materials Writing Workshop and Discussion.”
Originating in Puerto Alegre in 1989, Participatory Budgeting (PB) has been implemented throughout the world. Jarabacoa is not a place known for its strength of civil society or citizen engagement. This pilot program of PB using SMS aims to increase civil society and involve citizens for greater government transparency and accountability. PB is part of a broader better governance intitative of the World Bank Initative and United Nations Development Program. PB has been regarded as a "best practice" for open and more effective governance.
As of 2010, Portsmouth, New Hampshire (population 20,000) has sustained the practice of organized, public dialogue and deliberation for over ten years. Since 1999, diverse community groups in Portsmouth have organized at least six rounds of large-scale dialogue-to-action circles (study circles) initiatives. This case study provides brief descriptions of four of these initiatives from 1999 through 2004. Descriptions of Portsmouth’s later public engagement initiatives will be added to this entry at a later date, or posted as separate entries.
Raymond, New Hampshire is a town seeking change. A community group called Positive Raymond collaborated with the University of New Hampshire's New Hampshire Listens Program to host a one day forum in which community members could come together to discuss how to make Raymond a better place to live, work, and learn. Framing questions for the conversation included:
* What do you like most about living in Raymond?
* What about Raymond do you think could be improved?
This case study features a citizens' deliberation using the Dialogue Cirlces method to address inequities in the educational system derived from racism and poverty. This deliberation produced action ideas for various community groups, the successfully-enacted Early Childhood Care and Education Act, and efforts to pass amendment to the New Mexico constitution that would increase state funding for early childhood education.