Antwerp’s consensus-based Participatory Budget

As part of Demsoc’s work in developing the use of digital participatory budgeting (PB) in Scotland, they are showcasing innovative approaches to Participatory Budgeting, particularly where people use digital tools as part of their PB process. Antwerp is doing amazing things, using small, face-to-face group discussions to create consensus. But they have also experimented by using digital tools to support their process.


Hanne Bastiaensen was the project lead and key creative force behind Antwerp’s Participatory Budget. When she joined the team at Demsoc, they couldn’t pass up the chance to ask her about what she’s done in Antwerp.

In an interview Hanne tells us how Antwerp’s PB process works, and reflects on Antwerp’s experiment with digital deliberation, including how they’ve harnessed digital tools to draw people in to their consensus-based process.

“One of its main achievements has been to bring diverse people together to talk about the future of their city. The offline discussions encourage people to listen to each other and reach consensus, and it’s great to see really different people deliberating together at a table”.

Read the full interview here.