This morning’s meeting of the administrative Council of ‘AICESIS‘ here in Moscow, at the headquarters building of the Russian Civic Forum, successfully approved an ambitious development plan for the organisation. There are a number of questions still to be addressed – particularly regarding eligibility and the legal status of the organisation – but the addressing of these questions in a structured and informed way is indeed an integral part of the development plan. In the nature of my job, I spend most of my time concentrating on developments within the European Union and its twenty-seven Member States. But this morning’s discussion shifted attention firmly to the world scale. There are all sorts of problems of governance to be addressed. Some relate to sheer scale and/or complexity (of countries like Brazil, China, India and Russia, for example); others concern situations where the traditional mechanisms of democracy (political parties, parliaments), either don’t function fully or function badly. And behind all of that are genuinely global problems: security and supply of food, water and energy; climate change; demography and population movements; and so on. The proponents of participatory democracy on this more global scale do not argue that it is an alternative to democratic governance, but they argue that it can and should be playing an important flanking role, and that the collective voice of civil society organisations should be heard in world organisations and fora, from the UN to Davos.