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The Learning Conference 2015

June 10–11, 2015

Boston, Mass.

C6. Moderated Conversation with Josh Lerner, Participatory Budgeting Project

Thursday, June 11, 2015 at 11:30 AM–12:15 PM Eastern Time (US & Canada)
Cape Cod (Main Lobby)

Primary Points Of Contact

Session Designers


Josh Lerner, Participatory Budgeting Project
Speaker Biography

Josh is co-founder and Executive Director of the Participatory Budgeting Project (PBP), a non-profit organization that empowers people to decide together how to spend public money, across the US and Canada. Through programs that PBP has launched and supported, 60,000 people have directly decided how to spend $80,000,000 on more than 600 community projects in 10 cities. This work has been recognized by The White House as a model for open government, and by the Brown Democracy Medal as the best practical innovation advancing democracy around the world. Josh completed a PhD in Politics at the New School for Social Research and a Masters in Planning from the University of Toronto. He has over 15 years of experience developing, researching, and working with leading community engagement programs across North America, Latin America, and Europe. He is the author of Making Democracy Fun: How Game Design Can Empower Citizens and Transform Politics (MIT Press, 2014), Everyone Counts: Could Participatory Budgeting Change Democracy? (Cornell University Press, 2014), and over 20 articles. (Follow him on twitter @joshalerner)

Lori Bartczak, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
Speaker Biography

Lori Bartczak is vice president of programs at GEO. GEO is a diverse community of more than 500 grantmakers working to reshape the way philanthropy operates. GEO is committed to advancing smarter grantmaking practices that enable nonprofits to grow stronger and achieve better results. As vice president of programs, Lori sets strategy for GEO’s content and services, including publishing, conferences and peer learning programs and serves as a key spokesperson for the organization. Lori has written numerous publications and articles on topics related to philanthropic effectiveness.

Prior to joining GEO in 2002, Lori was publications editor at BoardSource. Lori is an active volunteer in her community, serving on various committees for her church, her sons’ school and the local education foundation. Lori holds bachelor’s degrees in journalism and English from the University of Missouri - Columbia, and a master’s of arts degree in philanthropic studies from Indiana University’s Center on Philanthropy.