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The Democracy Learning Lab Guide

Internal Resources

Hosting Organization(s)

At this point in the development of The Growing Democracy Project the Democracy Lab is an intense learning program for interested organizations to use for growing a deeper and more resilient democratic culture by developing the relational dispositions and skills of its members as well as their connectedness with each other. An organization choosing to use this program would actively participate in the preparation and implementation of the program. The specifics of the arrangement would be worked out to match the goals, needs, and available resources of the situation. 

Physical Space 

The ideal space for a Democracy Lab is a residential setting that could comfortably house up to 10 Lab fellows for a weekend, week, or up to 3 months, all or most of them having private rooms. The setting would include internet service, printing and copying resources, public viewing screen for the group, an adequate kitchen, bathroom facilities, common and meeting spaces, and some access to outdoor and indoor exercise spaces. 

Training / Coaching

Michael Johnson coordinates the organization, implementation, and training of the Democracy Learning Labs. He is the originator of the Growing Democracy Project. In addition to 1200 hours of NYS approved training in group dynamics and facilitation in the late 1960s, he has more than 43 years of experiential research and direct participation in democratically-oriented groups. 

The Fellows Themselves

A Growing Democracy Learning Lab is a short-term transformative community of democratic practice involving 6-10 Lab fellows and the GDProject staff. That means we have each other to learn 

  • about different ways of seeing reality, 
  • new ways of seeing ourselves, 
  • ways to talk and think together more deeply and effectively, 
  • new perspectives on loving and caring for ourselves and others,
  • and more.

Study Materials

The Growing Democracy Project has collected a sizeable digital collection of books, videos, interviews, papers, and articles produced by people experienced academically and practically in the field of democracy and current issues. All of this will be available to Lab fellows as well as the full-length Growing Democracy Workbook as its revision continues.

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