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Citizens Assemblies 2019-12-15T10:25:50+00:00

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A citizens’ assembly is a new form of democracy that allows making decisions at the level of a city, a country, an organisation or an international community such as the European Union. A citizens’ assembly consists of a randomly selected group of citizens, which is formed taking into account demographic criteria such as gender, age, ethnicity. The group is a representative sample of the region or client base around which the Assembly is held. The role of a citizens’ assembly is to make a thorough analysis of a given subject, examine expert evidence, hear from important stakeholders, hold discussions of various solutions, analyse pros and cons, and then make conscious and well thought-out decisions and recommendations.

For many years, citizens’ assemblies in various forms have been organised in numerous countries such as Australia, Ireland, Poland, Canada, France and the United Kingdom. Citizen’s assemblies – and their close relative climate assemblies – are a form of deliberative democracy, which is becoming much more popular largely due to the impact of Extinction Rebellion worldwide who are calling for citizens assemblies to be part of government processes.

Citizens assemblies are particularly important in these times of complex global challenges to develop citizen understanding and engagement in the often radical changes we need to make to achieve long term transformation of major systems. We face global crisis on climate change, soil degradation, deforestation, ocean acidification, water and air pollution. The mode of functioning of contemporary democracies does not necessarily lend itself to long-term thinking, driven as it often us by short-term quantitative targets and influences by short-term profiteering in standard capitalist systems.

Citizens assembles allow for high quality decision making, developed with the involvement of citizens where common good is at the heart of the process.

How are citizens assemblies formed?

A government, local authority, a company or any community can hold a citizens assembly.  They are usually managed by a series of panels. The Independent Advisory Panel oversees the application of the principles of the assembly to ensure it is run properly. The Expert Advisory Panel convenes experts and stakeholders who will present arguments to the assembled citizen group. The Management Panel runs the project, considering the policies to be debated, the messaging to communicate the event, designs the agenda for each assembly, facilitates the deliberations and manages the sortition process to recruit, brief and support citizens.

The Benefits

  • Decisions are developed by an independent group of citizens, thanks to the process of random selection. are made after learning about the issue and listening to people with diverse perspectives.
  • The process includes deliberation phase and consultations with experts.
  • High level of consent for decisions made – at least 80 percent support of the citizens’ assembly.
  • The process of organizing a citizens’ assembly encourages institutions and organizations to search for solutions and to prepare their recommendations.
  • New possibilities and solutions may appear thanks to the nature of the process, which involves presentation of a wide range of views and perspectives.
  • It is a highly transparent way of making decisions which helps to rebuild broken trust in the political system.

Trusted Partners

We work with trusted partners who deliver expert solutions in sortition, selection and stratification services, alongside experienced broadcasters who can live-stream your event to the wider public ensuring maximum reach.

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