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Part 1: City of Empaville & Participatory Budgeting

Register now £5/£8
SFCIC Now Play this 2022

In partnership with Legislative Theatre with Katy Rubin

Throughout the country, cities, towns and neighbourhoods are facing many challenges when it comes to shrinking budgets and tackling climate change. We are constantly being told “there is no funding for this”. The vast majority of citizens don’t know they could have a say in the decision making processes on local budgets.

Welcome to the world of Empaville. Shared Future CIC and Southampton University are coming together to explore why, more than ever, local authority budgets should and can have more democratic participation to protect and serve everyday people like you.

Rather than tell you, we’ll put the power of participation in your hands. We invite you to the city of Empaville - A fun and interactive role-playing game that simulates a climate themed Participatory Budgeting process, integrating in-person deliberation with digital voting.

No matter the size of your community, citizens can lead the way by investing in their communities. Creating fairer, healthy and more sustainable places for all. In some places they already are. Together, we will enact your aspirations towards tackling climate change and learn how we can do it together. Discover why Participatory Budgeting is vital for elevating citizen and community voices and why “The truth of our aspirations isn’t found in our vision. It’s found in the budget.”

Join the first of two workshops on Saturday 25th May 10:30am - 12:30pm and explore how participatory democracy can be enacted for the climate, for all.


For over 25 years Jez has worked in diverse communities, facilitating deliberative and participatory democracy processes and delivering research and policy work.

A founding director of the social enterprise Shared Future CIC, he specialises in participatory budgeting, co-production and social enterprise.


Katy Rubin is a Legislative Theatre practitioner and Creative Civic Strategist based in the UK; an Associate of Shared Future CIC and People Powered; and former founding director of Theatre of the Oppressed NYC.

Part of our 2024 festival strand


How can we reimagine our citizenship and our democracy?

Part of our 2024 festival strand


How can we respond to the climate crisis and biosphere collapse?

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