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Democracy and the Life of Cities

PAST EVENT VIDEO
Workshop
Building on the 2021 Summit for Democracy and its city-focused side event, this workshop will examine the policies and practices through which cities can advance democracy.
Speakers
Brian Hanson
Heather A. Conley
Clarence E. Anthony
Matt Leighninger
Katerina Gagaki
Kobie Brand
Stéphanie Tawa Lama
Octavi de la Varga
Robin F. Bachin
Anuela Ristani
Event Date

About This Event

At the December 2021 Summit for Democracy, the United States, the Netherlands, Germany, the German Marshall Fund of the United States, and the Global Parliament of Mayors hosted a city-focused side event exploring the policies and practices by which cities advance democracy, including good governance, anti-corruption, diversity, equity, and inclusion.

This workshop will build on that momentum while focusing on a new set of themes: transparency and accountability, pluralistic democracy, and public life. Three dedicated sessions will explore each theme, followed by a discussion bringing together city officials, national policymakers, think tank experts, city network representatives, and civil society. This conversation will inform the Cities’ Declaration for Democracy and its delivery at the 2022 World Urban Forum.

This workshop is cohosted by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and the German Marshall Fund of the United States, as well as supported by the Global Parliament of Mayors.

Event Schedule

Time Agenda
9:00-9:15 am CDT Introduction to the program and welcome remarks
9:15-9:50 am Session on transparency and accountability
9:50-10:25 am Session on pluralistic democracy
10:25-10:55 am Session on public life
10:55-11:00 am Closing remarks and adjournment
About the Speakers
Vice President, Studies
Council expert Brian Hanson
Brian Hanson is the Vice President of Studies at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. He oversees the Council's research operations and hosts the Council's weekly podcast, Deep Dish on Global Affairs.
Council expert Brian Hanson
President, The German Marshall Fund of the United States
Headshot of Heather A. Conley, President of the German Marshall Fund of the United States.
Heather A. Conley is president of the German Marshall Fund. Previously, she was the senior vice president for Europe, Eurasia, and the Arctic at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Prior to CSIS, Conley served at the American National Red Cross as executive director of the Office of the Chairman of the Board and was deputy assistant secretary of state in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs in the US Department of State from 2001 to 2005.
Headshot of Heather A. Conley, President of the German Marshall Fund of the United States.
CEO and Executive Director, National League of Cities
Headshot of Clarence E. Anthony, CEO and Executive Director, National League of Cities.
Clarence E. Anthony is CEO and executive director of the National League of Cities, the largest and oldest organization representing America’s cities and their leaders. Previously, he served as the first vice president of the International Union of Local Authorities and as founding treasurer of United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) for four years. Most recently, he served as the interim manager for UCLG. Anthony began his career as mayor of South Bay, FL for 24 years.
Headshot of Clarence E. Anthony, CEO and Executive Director, National League of Cities.
Head of Democracy Innovation, National Conference on Citizenship
Headshot of Matt Leighninger, Head of Democracy Innovation at the National Conference on Citizenship.
Matt Leighninger is the head of democracy innovation at the National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC), a congressionally chartered non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening civic life in America. Matt leads NCoC’s work in strengthening civic infrastructure, organizing large-scale engagement efforts, and measuring the quality of democracy and engagement. He and Tina Nabatchi are the authors of Public Participation for 21st Century Democracy.
Headshot of Matt Leighninger, Head of Democracy Innovation at the National Conference on Citizenship.
Katerina Gagaki
Vice Mayor, Athens, Greece
Katerina Gagaki is the vice mayor for social solidarity and civil society in Athens. She was first elected in 2019 as a city councilor in Athens and has consecutively served as president of “Technopolis” and vice mayor for openness and civil society. Previously, Gagaki has served as a communications and public relations director and a corporate affairs director in several corporations and non-governmental organizations in Greece and abroad.
Deputy Secretary General, ICLEI; Regional Director, ICLEI Africa
Headshot of Kobie Brand, Deputy Secretary General of ICLEI.
Kobie Brand is the deputy secretary general of ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, regional director of ICLEI Africa, and global director of ICLEI’s Cities Biodiversity Centre. Kobie has more than 25 years of practical and managerial experience in environmental management and urban development. She is responsible for the strategic direction, growth, partnerships, programs, and scope of work for ICLEI in Africa, as well as for ICLEI’s global biodiversity and nature-based solutions work.
Headshot of Kobie Brand, Deputy Secretary General of ICLEI.
CNRS Research Director, Centre de Sciences Humaines, Delhi
Headshot of Stéphanie Tawa Lama, CNRS Research Director at the Centre de Sciences Humaines, Delhi.
Stéphanie Tawa Lama is a CNRS research director at the Centre de Sciences Humaines, Delhi where studies contemporary Indian democracy. Her publications include a book on the Indian versions of participatory democracy, a collective volume—co-edited with Amélie Blom—on the role of emotions in political mobilizations; and a special issue of India Review on political representation in India.
Headshot of Stéphanie Tawa Lama, CNRS Research Director at the Centre de Sciences Humaines, Delhi.
Octavi de la Varga
Secretary General, METROPOLIS
Octavi de la Varga headshot
Octavi de la Varga's previous positions include head of the office of development cooperation and head of the office of Europe and international strategy, both at the diputació de Barcelona (Barcelona Provincial Council). He has led and participated in projects on local development, the institutional strengthening of local governments, public policies, and social cohesion in several countries.
Octavi de la Varga headshot
Charlton W. Tebeau Associate Professor of History, University of Miami
Headshot of Robin F. Bachin, Charlton W. Tebeau Associate Professor of History at the University of Miami.
Robin Bachin is the Charlton W. Tebeau Associate Professor of History and assistant provost for civic and community engagement at the University of Miami. She is project director for the Miami Housing Solutions Lab, member of the Aspen Institute Working Group on Inclusive Innovation in America’s Cities, and past president of the Society for American City and Regional Planning History. Bachin has served on boards of directors of Imagining America and Urban Environment League of Greater Miami, among others.
Headshot of Robin F. Bachin, Charlton W. Tebeau Associate Professor of History at the University of Miami.
Anuela Ristani
Deputy Mayor, Tirana, Albania
Anuela Ristani is the deputy mayor of international affairs and sustainable development in Tirana, Albania. She joined the city in 2015 as its chief of staff and was elected deputy mayor in 2019. She has overseen the Green City Action Plan of Tirana, the Tirana Child Friendly Agenda, and the city’s resilience and sustainability strategies. Previously, Ristani established the National Youth Service, where she also cofounded the Regional Youth Cooperation Office.