For the past few years each graduating cohort of the Diploma in Local Democracy produces a collaborative essay expressing what the group as a whole has learned from the course. Both the process of putting the essay together, and the final product, expresses the shared experience and engaging discussion that the class engenders. Each year participants learn new and different things about Local Democracy and express these things in different ways. Yet the spirit remains very much the same. Please enjoy reading the collaborative essays from both the 2015 and 2016 classes. They both give a good taste of the kinds of discussion and depths of reflection that happens in our class.