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Participatory Budgeting: Crowdsourcing for Real

Every year, millions of citizens around the world are involved in a crowdsourcing effort in which they tell their governments where public money should be spent. Known as Participatory Budgeting (PB), this practice is more than a mere public consultation on the budget: citizens actually decide on the budget allocation. Dubbed by the New York Times as “revolutionary civics in action”, and currently taking place in 1,500 cities around the world, participatory budgeting is starting to spread in the US following its recent adoption in Chicago and New York City. In many cases, technology has been a key part of this civic revolution: from open data to social media and mobile apps, technology is dramatically increasing citizens' engagement in public budgets.

Additional Supporting Materials


  1. What is participatory budgeting and why does it matter?
  2. What is the promise of participatory budgeting?
  3. How is participatory budgeting developing in the US?
  4. How can technology and civic hackers support PB efforts?
  5. How do you introduce PB in your community?



Tim Bonnemann, Founder & CEO, Intellitics, Inc.

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