Nivek is undertaking a PhD at the Institute for Sustainable Futures focusing on answering the question: what impact do democratic innovations have on political elites’ understanding and practice of democracy? Nivek is the founder and director of Deliberately Engaging where she recruits mini-publics for deliberative processes around Australia and supports online engagement through the European crowdsourcing platform Synthetron.
Nivek has worked for the newDemocracy Foundation designing and managing citizens’ juries. And before that she worked in State government and the non-government sector undertaking community and stakeholder engagement to support change and the development of new policies in a broad range of areas including quality childcare, children’s rights, competition policy, consumer protection, community development, workplace health and safety, road safety and regulatory reform.
Nivek is the host and producer of Real Democracy Now! a podcast, where she talks to thought leaders from around the world about democracy and democratic reform.
NIvek's research interests relate to democracy and democratic innovations as well as institutionalism in particular institutional change.
Riedy, C, Kent, J & Thompson, N 2019, 'Meaning work: reworking institutional meanings for environmental governance', Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, vol. 62, no. 1, pp. 151-171.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
© 2018 Newcastle University Effective environmental governance requires institutional change. While some actors work to change institutions, others resist change by defending and maintaining institutions. Much of this institutional work is ‘meaning work’, which we define as the practice of crafting, adapting, connecting and performing meanings to purposively create, maintain or disrupt institutions. This paper constructs a concept of meaning work that highlights agency in carrying meanings across scales and between discursive layers, while noting the structuring role of prevailing discourses. It grounds the concept using two environmental governance cases at very different scales: a local democratic innovation employed by Noosa Council in Queensland, Australia; and the international campaign to divest from fossil fuels. The cases demonstrate the diversity of meaning work and the difficulty of achieving deep discursive change. They point to the need for environmental governance practitioners to rework existing meanings to construct compelling stories for change, taking advantage of narrative openings.
Nivek is an active member of the post-graduate community holding a number of positions formally representing PG students: member of the inaugural Council of the Postgraduate Representative Union, UTS and Post-graduate representative on the Executive Council of the Australian Political Studies Association.