Democratic Innovation and Reform

Matt Ryan is a former Deputy Chief of Staff to a South Australian Premier. From 2011-2016 he led work on that government’s internationally recognised democratic reform program, which included multiple citizens’ juries, large scale participatory budgeting, open innovation challenges, and a modern style of political leadership. He also helped to craft a strategic policy agenda, initiated development of the first whole of government communications plan, and advised on inter-governmental relations and the state’s participation in the Paris Climate Summit.

In 2018, Matt began working with other Australians to encourage a broader effort to reform Australian democracy. This work has culminated in the establishment of Citizens for Democratic Renewal ( of which Matt is a co-convenor. He is also a Senior Fellow of The GovLab at New York University, exploring the intersection of technology and democracy, and his work has included projects to support the US Congress and Mexican judiciary. Matt’s for purpose entity – – seeks to explore and support democratic reform programs worldwide.

Matt has also been a Director at The Australian Centre for Social Innovation where he co-authored a major report on public sector innovation and he is a member of the Institute for Public Administration Association (SA) Strategic Advisory Committee.