About the event

Join us for a virtual panel discussion "Building Climate Justice Through Participatory Governance: Frameworks and Case Studies from the US" with Lebaron Sims, Demos; Johana Bozuwa, Community and Climate Project; Thomas Hanna, Democracy Collaborative; moderated by our Faculty Seminar Leader Michael Menser, Brooklyn College and CUNY SLU and EES, and with Denise Thompson, John Jay College/CUNY as the respondent.

Climate justice requires not just technological innovation, but institutional transformation. But across the globe, democracy is under attack and in the US trust in our institutions has reached a new low. Meanwhile, climate change is intensifying and local, state and federal governments are struggling to plan and respond justly. Our institutions need a radical democratic makeover ASAP but what does that look like and where should we start? This panel brings together different research groups analyzing recent innovations on how to do democratic participatory governance and climate justice: from a water utility in Pittsburgh, PA and climate change governance in Houston, Texas (Lebaron Sims) to electric utilities in NY State and public power authorities from across the US (Thomas Hanna and Johanna Bozuwa). We will also look at different perspectives of institutional democratization: the anchor institution model, social-public democratization, and economic democracy.

Click the following link to join this event Zoom starting at 6:30 PM on Nov 2nd:

Meeting ID: 851 2039 7534
Passcode: 942987

This event is sponsored by the Center for Humanities (CUNY GC) and the Community Ownership and Worker Ownership Project (CUNY SLU).

Speaker Bios:

Johanna Bozuwa is the executive director of The Climate and Community Project, an organization that works to connect the demands of the climate justice movement to the policy development process. She is the former co-manager of the Climate and Energy Program at The Democracy Collaborative. Her research focused on transitioning from the executive, fossil fuel economy and building towards resilient and equitable communities based on energy democracy. Johanna received her M.Sc. in sustainable innovation from Utrecht University in the Netherlands. She also has a B.A. in Environmental Policy from Barnard College, where she was an Athena Scholar for Women’s Leadership. She has organized around climate justice both in the United States and the Netherlands. She was previously an Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) Fellow, working to bridge the gap between scientists and society.

Thomas M. Hanna is research director at The Democracy Collaborative. He joined TDC in 2010 as a research assistant to Gar Alperovitz. Thomas’ areas of expertise include democratic models of ownership and governance, particularly public and cooperative ownership. He has published dozens of articles in popular and academic journals, and his recent publications include Our Common Wealth: The Return of Public Ownership in the United States (Manchester University Press, 2018), The Crisis Next Time: Planning for Public Ownership as an Alternative to Corporate Bank Bailouts (Next System Project, 2018) and, with Andrew Cumbers, Constructing the Democratic Public Enterprise (Democracy Collaborative, 2019). A dual citizen of the United States and the United Kingdom, he has advised the UK Labour Party on democratic public ownership and has served on the Advisory Board of two European Research Council funded academic research projects: Transforming Public Policy Through Economic Democracy and Global Remunicipalisation and the Post-Neoliberal Turn. He received his M.A. and B.A. degrees in History from Virginia Commonwealth University, and is currently pursuing a PhD in political economy at the University of Glasgow.

Dr. Denise D.P. Thompson is an Associate Professor and Director of the MPA IO Program. Her Ph.D. is from Penn State University, her MA is from Erasmus University, The Netherlands, and her MBA is from Nova Southeastern University. Her doctoral studies focused on Public Administration with sub-field focus in Public Policy, Public Administration and Organization Theory and Management. Her research focus is on disaster risk reduction and management; organizational assessment looking at multi-organizational systems, and supply chain and logistics. Most of her work is in the international and comparative arena - mainly focused on developing countries and small island developing states. She also consults on policy and standards development in disaster risk reduction and emergency management. Prior to coming to John Jay College, Professor Thompson worked in the Caribbean region on sustainable development issue including: Program Coordinator of the Canada-Caribbean Gender Equity Fund working to mainstream gender considerations in government policies and programs; Program Officer for the Jamaican Social Investment Fund to promote sustainable community development; Independent consultant examining ways to improve Jamaica's social safety net program.

Dr. Michael Menser (Associate Professor, Philosophy) is the Director of the Urban Sustainability Studies Program at Brooklyn College (BC) and the Associate Director of Public Engagement for the Science and Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay (SRIJB). He teaches in Philosophy and Urban Sustainability Studies at Brooklyn College (BC), Earth and Environmental Sciences at the CUNY Graduate Center, and Community Ownership and Workplace Democracy at the CUNY School for Labor and Urban Studies. His main areas of research are participatory democracy and climate justice with a focus on participatory governance, economic democracy and energy democracy. He was the founding Board Chair of the Participatory Budgeting Project. He is the author of We Decide! Theories and Cases in Participatory Democracy and is a contributor to Prospects for Resilience: Insights from New York City’s Jamaica Bay. He recently finished his service to the Participatory Budgeting Advisory Council for the NYC Civic Engagement Commission and the Stakeholder Engagement Working Group for the NYC Mayor’s Office of Climate Resilience Adaptation Roadmap. He is a member of the PSC-CUNY’s Environmental Justice Working Group. His most recent publication is Democratizing Public Services co-authored with Anne Le Strat.