22 November 2022 – Debate: Democracy at work: an endless experimentation

Evenements - 19/10/2022

As part of the Shifting Economy Week, organised by the Brussels-Capital Region, Smart invites you to a debate that explores different ways to experiment with democracy at work. 

This event will bring together four speakers with diverse professional backgrounds to lead the discussion and debate:

  • Isabelle Ferreras, sociologist and political commentator, professor at UCLouvain and member of the Royal Academy of Science, Letters and Fine Arts of Belgium 
  • Anne-Laure Desgris, Smart representative and co-administrator
  • Martin Mahaux, co-founder of Phusis, a cooperative of managers and experts in organisational change
  • Geneviève Laforêt, collaborator in the Enterprise Department of the CSC (Belgian Christian Union)


There are many ways to experiment with democracy in the workplace. It’s not just workers’ cooperatives such as Smart or innovative organisations like Phusis that are pushing this movement. More traditional businesses also chose to democratise their practices in order to solve economic and social problems, especially following the COVID-19 pandemic and public health crisis. The key is to ask the right questions about how to continuously improve democracy through internal operations, to reflect on how we enable ourselves to achieve this goal, and to identify the advantages democracy brings, both to processes of economic production as well as to job security for workers.  

Looking beyond the various ways in which companies experiment with direct participation in their democratic governance models, it is also worthwhile to understand how these experiments fit in with more traditional forms of worker representation in companies (such as unions). The aim of the panel istherefore to discuss different approaches to democracy in the workplace in order to understand the underlying opportunities and challenges.


6:00 pm: Welcome and introduction 

6:30–8:00 pm: Debate: “Democracy at work: an endless experimentation” 

8:00 pm: Cocktail reception

Register for free here

* *The entire debate will be held in French but a translation from French to English will be provided to anyone who needs it.