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Harnessing the Wisdom of Crowds

Published by Pro Bono Australia.

By Wendy Williams.

Democracy is not a monologue, it has to be a conversation among many, says one of Canada’s leading experts on civic engagement.

Sevaun Palvetzian, CEO of CivicAction, told audiences at the Philanthropy Meets Parliament Summit in Canberra that for too long, government has believed it has a monopoly on democracy.

But at a time when trust is in freefall, governments are seen as out of touch, and major global bodies are not working as intended, she argued it was essential to gather a diverse range of views – and she looked to philanthropy as a vehicle to enable the competition of ideas.

“I think some people in government believe it is their job to lay out where our country needs to go and the path to get there. That’s not how it really works,” Palvetzian said.

She stressed that the potential that comes from the wisdom of crowds was “exceptional”.

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