Ignatius But

Democratic Practice Expert

Why Democratic Society?

Because every human has a fundamental right to have a say in decisions that impact their life. Because too often, only the needs of the loudest and powerful are met. 

Where I’m based: Berlin

Languages I speak: English, Cantonese 

Ignatius But is a participatory process designer, urban planner and facilitator. An expert in participation methods and democratic design, he has worked with public institutions, private stakeholders and nonprofits delivering public and stakeholder participation processes to solve complex urban and regional planning issues. He brings to his work an academic background in community and regional planning and training in Deep Democracy methods, building bridges between experts and nonexperts, empowering marginalized voices and creating welcoming environments for deep dialogue to tackle society’s complex challenges. 

Previously, Ignatius worked for MODUS Planning, Design and Engagement, delivering urban planning and engagement processes for municipalities, regional governments and provinicial ministries.

Three things I’m learning

  • That the fundamental characteristics of a friendship (reciprocity, respect, trust) also apply to governance structures and participation processes  
  • That breakdowns in these structures or processes often create breakdowns in relationships 
  • That there is no replacement for a meaningfully inefficient coffee chat 

What I’m currently working on at Democratic Society

I work with cities in the Net Zero Cities Mission to ensure their climate transitions are democratic and just. 

Contact details

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