Bringing Participatory Process to Peterborough

Peterborough-Kawartha MP Maryam Monsef's Town Halls are flirting with new ways of inviting citizens into ownership of their future

Illustration: Yvonne Hollandy

Peterborough-Kawartha MP Maryam Monsef’s recent community gatherings, including a January 11 Town Hall on Jobs and the Economy, are modelling new forms of participatory process and citizen leadership. “I see citizens taking ownership of the question,” Maryam said, as over 120 citizens engaged in intimate conversations in circles of 3.

The gatherings are deeply influenced and co-hosted by members of Peterborough Dialogues.

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  1. I was a participant last Monday evening. And I have participated in a couple of other Dialogues events The format was lively and accessible and participative. My one reservation is that each time, it felt that we had just scratched the surface. The listening format meant that we didn’t actually have any dialogue at all, that back and forth where new ideas are incubated. I expect that this kind of process goes on AFTER our initial input. I hope so. All the best for this interesting new tool.