Creating a Space for Global Dialogue on Knowledge Democracy: Experiences from the Inaugural Global Assembly for Knowledge Democracy

Janel Seeley, Mary McAteer, Cesar Osorio Sanchez, Yuliana Kenfield

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This study employed phenomenological and semi-structured interviews as an action research approach, to explore participants’ experiences around the Global Assembly for Knowledge Democracy (The Assembly) following the Conference of the Action Research Network of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia. We sought to promote the inclusion of the diverse voices from the Global North and South who convened in the event, by understanding the participants’ experiences as part of this assembly, and its possible impact after the event. We found that Assembly participants’ experiences helped us understand Global North-South critical dialogues that challenge traditional notions of knowledge democracy that have held back, maybe unintentionally, the voices of those in the Global South. The Assembly participants’ promoted critical dialogues when presenting their visual metaphors, dances and other ways of producing knowledge during the Assembly. Although, Global North and South participants struggled with language barriers, they found enabling spaces at the Assembly to share their proposals, at both individual and community levels, framing actions and building partnerships with organizations within collective international efforts. Further, having a research team comprising both Global North and Global South voices, gave greater vision and authenticity to recognize and appreciate alternative methodologies of participation, which reconfigured the Global Assembly for Knowledge Democracy process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-39
Number of pages18
JournalEducational Action Research
Issue number1
Early online date7 Dec 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • Action Research
  • Global Assembly
  • Knowledge Democracy
  • Social Justice

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