Reinventing Democracy with Ieva Česnulaitytė


In this episode of the Vienna Coffee House Conversations, Ivan Vejvoda hosts Ieva Česnulaitytė, Europe's Futures Fellow of the IWM and ERSTE Foundation, for a discussion of current issues facing the world's democracies. They examine the declining trust in democratic institutions, the rise of populism, and increasing political polarization. Česnulaitytė brings her background in democratic innovation to talk about the role of citizens' assemblies and participatory governance in addressing these challenges. The conversation also covers the impact of technology on cross-cultural deliberations and the importance of face-to-face interactions in community trust-building.

Ieva Česnulaitytė is the Founding Head of Research and Learning at DemocracyNext. Previously a Policy Analyst at the OECD, focusing on citizen participation and open government, she contributed to establishing the OECD's evidence base on sortition-based citizens' assemblies and co-authored the report "Catching the Deliberative Wave". She supported European governments in citizen engagement practices and was involved in developing deliberative processes in Finland and Spain. Her interest in democratic innovation grew during her work in Lithuania’s Prime Minister's office, leading Lithuania’s participation in the Open Government Partnership Initiative. She is a Europe's Futures Fellow for 2023/2024.