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The Institute for Everyday Democracy

In February 2017, as part of Pomegranate Center’s organizational and programmatic evolution prompted by our transition of Executive Directors, we launched the Institute for Everyday Democracy. Led by Founder and Executive Director Emeritus Milenko Matanovic, the Institute is a place to exchange ideas, participate in discussions, and generate a body of thought about how we participate in our democracy.


A Note From Milenko About the Institute

In my new role, I will coordinate the activities of the Institute for Everyday Democracy, exploring how we can come together in a world that is increasingly divided. The goal of the Institute is to strengthen local community engagement practices as a way to build democratic “intelligence.” Some questions the Institute will address:

  • How can the relationship between local governments and their citizens be improved, with community process becoming productive and positive rather than burdensome and ineffective?
  • How can comprehensive planning, civic projects, design reviews, etc. double as classrooms for democratic collaboration?
  • How can we better unlock the collective wisdom of those living in diverse neighborhoods?
  • What are different models for participatory democracy?

My work with the Institute will take many forms. I will be publishing articles and essays exploring the questions listed above. I will continue to speak at events and forums.  And I will host collegial conversations, starting with small gatherings in the Seattle area, where we can explore these ideas together. Please contact us if you want to be involved.


Milenko at TEDxTacoma


Milenko Matanovic

About Milenko Matanovic

Milenko Matanović is a nationally recognized thought leader who gained his reputation by successfully leading over 60 placemaking projects involving people from all walks of life and all ages. Using his collaborative process, community members actively contribute to their well-being by engaging in the imagining, implementation, and building of gathering places.

Milenko accumulated his knowledge through decades of hands-on research and action. He is a passionate thinker, inspired teacher, and insightful artist devoted to resilient communities. In 1986, he started Pomegranate Center to explore the art of creative collaboration, and to teach that, when it comes to community, together we always know more and that empowering communities is the most efficient, foundational way for us to improve our society. He has worked with hundreds of communities worldwide, built innovative gathering places across the globe, received numerous awards for his contributions and trained a large number of community leaders in his Pomegranate model of community building.

Milenko speaks about bringing people together to build better communities. During these talks Milenko shares his experiences with wit and humor. His speech topics include: building community the artist way, courageous things anyone can do to build community, collaboration and creativity, community engagement vs. community recruitment, and community of place & community of affinity.


Read Milenko’s Bio

View Milenko’s Resume


Watch Videos of Milenko’s Past Speaking Engagements

Guest Speaker at the Department of Art History, University of Ljubljana

Courage to Collaborate:  Milenko Matanovic at TedX Tacoma

Milenko Matanovic: Art as community builder

Continuums of Service Conference

Milenko Matanovic at Collaborations for Cause (Part 1)

Milenko Matanovic at Collaborations for Cause (Part 2)


Listen to Interviews with Milenko

Milenko’s interview on the Parksify podcast


Invite Milenko Matanovic

Milenko Matanovic speaks regularly at conferences, campuses, and corporate events. For more information about his speech topics, fees, and availability, please contact our office at (425) 557-6412 or email