Claudia Chwalisz

Claudia Chwalisz

Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Claudia Chwalisz is the Founder and CEO of DemocracyNext.

She has been working on democratic innovation for over a decade, initially sparked by her research on populism and the extent to which it is driven by people’s disillusionment with the political system and with a lack of agency to shape the decisions affecting their lives.

Claudia was involved in designing the world’s first permanent Citizens’ Assemblies in Paris, Ostbelgien, and Brussels.

Claudia established and led the OECD’s work on innovative citizen participation from 2018-2022, creating the Deliberative Democracy Toolbox, which includes a public database of over 700 examples of Citizens’ Assemblies, the flagship report Catching the Deliberative Wave (2020)standards for implementation (2020), and guidelines for evaluation and institutionalisation of deliberative assemblies (2021), as well guidelines for citizen participation processes (2022). 

She led the drafting of the OECD Action Plan on Enhancing Representation, Participation, and Openness in Public Life (2022) and the related chapter in the Building Trust and Reinforcing Democracy report (2022). Claudia also set up the OECD Innovative Citizen Participation Network and the blog Participo. She managed five pilot projects of citizen participation in cohesion policy, supported by the European Commission, advised on institutionalising deliberative democracy in the Basque Country in a project with Arantzazulab, and advised on designing deliberative processes in Finland and Lebanon.

Claudia is an Obama Leader 2023 and serves on the Advisory Boards of the UN Democracy Fund, MIT Center for Constructive Communication, The Data Tank, and Design & Democracy

She is the author of The Populist Signal: Why Politics and Democracy Need to Change (2015) and The People's Verdict: Adding Informed Citizen Voices to Public Decision-making (2017), and the co-editor of New Routes to Social Justice (2017) and The Predistribution Agenda (2015).

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