Events

05-15, 2024 05:00 PM
until 05-18, 2024 01:00 PM
Bucharest (Romania)

2024 Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy

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Location: Teatrul de Revista / Faculty of Sociology and Social Work, Bucharest University, Bucharest, Romania

For the first time ever, the Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy is heading to Eastern Europe! From 15 to 18 May 2024, the world's largest conference on direct democracy will convene in Bucharest, Romania.

2024 will be a crucial year for democracy in Romania, with the European Union parliamentary elections just two weeks after the Forum and local and national elections later in the year.

With this in mind, the 2024 Global Forum will centre its discussions on a critical issue: trust.

Trust in institutions, media, and citizens is of essential importance to our democracies. Alarmingly, less than one in four Romanians trust their Government, and just 12% trust the Parliament. Without trust, how can we expect to make decisions with and for each other? Simultaneously, trust in people's sovereignty and a peaceful Europe is facing an unprecedented challenge due to the ongoing war in Ukraine, impacting not just Romania, but also neighbouring Moldova and the entire Black Sea region.

Now is the time to reaffirm the fundamental value of democracy and reimagine a more inclusive democracy. Join this important conversation!

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05-18, 2024
07:00 PM - 09:00 PM

Online

Combining human listening and new technologies to support citizens’ assemblies

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Location: Zoom video conferencing platform,

This seminar will review the unique cooperation between MIT's Center for Constructive Communication (CCC) and the nonprofit Cortico to develop and implement technological tools to amplify people's voices and help drive decisions that strengthen the health of communities.

The session will first review a case study of a modified Citizens Assembly at MIT from January in order to explain the Tech-Enhanced model for Citizen Assemblies being developed and tested at MIT CCC (in partnership with DemocracyNext). Next, participants will explore a hands-on demo activity to learn about Cortico's tools and process. The Fora platform-- which serves as an interactive repository for recorded, small-group conversations-- supports a 3-step methodology for Cortico partners: 1. Listening to the community through conversation campaigns, 2. making sense of those conversations, and 3. sharing the results of that work back to community stakeholders.

With an understanding of background and methodology, the session will turn to future initiatives, including a Citizens Assembly in Bend, OR, the deployment of AI tools to support and expedite conversation analysis, and the release of the Fora Mobile app. Participants will be invited to envision how they could implement these  tools and methods in their future projects.

Learn more with Democracy Next: Tech-Enhanced Citizens’ Assemblies: Toward a more healthy and constructive democracy

05-21, 2024 09:00 AM
until 05-22, 2024 05:00 PM
Budapest (Hungary)

Spring School on Climate Citizens' Assemblies

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Location: MagNet Közösségi Ház, 98 Andrássy út Budapest, 1062, Hungary

Climate and democracy are shouting for help! From polarization to electoral short-termism, institutions are struggling to provide solutions. In these decisive moments, citizens crave for a voice in shaping the future.  Climate Citizens’ Assemblies are one of the most promising methods to tackle this deadlock.

Are you eager to delve into the heart of this transformative approach? KNOCA and FIDE, in collaboration with DemNet, proudly present a new edition of the Spring School on Climate Citizens' Assemblies. Save the dates - May 21-22, and join us in the vibrant city of Budapest for an immersive exploration of democratic solutions to the climate crisis.

What to expect

In-Depth Learning: Gain comprehensive insights into the dynamics of Climate Citizens' Assemblies and their pivotal role in improving democracy.

Expert Partnerships: Benefit from the combined expertise of KNOCA, FIDE, and DemNet, ensuring a rich learning experience guided by leaders in the field.

International Collaboration: Engage in a global dialogue on the challenges and opportunities surrounding climate and democracy, contributing to a shared understanding of best practices.

Learn more

05-22, 2024
06:30 PM - 09:00 PM

Basel (Switzerland)

Open Mic Politics: Citizens' Assemblies

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Location: Forum kHaus, Kasernenhof 8, 4058 Basel, Switzerland

Citizens' assemblies are committees made up of randomly selected citizens who are tasked with developing proposals for solutions to specific social challenges that can be put to the electorate for a vote.

23 out of 27 participants in a citizens' assembly organised by Demokratie Labor Basel voted in favour of the introduction of a citizens' assembly as a supplement to parliament. So 23 out of 27 participants are of the opinion that Switzerland needs even more participation rights, even in a direct democracy.

What do you think? Join the discussion at the "Open Mic Politics" on 22 May

Basel residents in dialogue with politicians. Taking part will be:

  • Christian Egeler (Cantonal Councillor, FDP Basel-Stadt)
  • Fina Girard (Member of Parliament, Young Green Alliance)
  • Mahir Kabakci (SP councillor)
  • Sara Murray (Co-President of Die Mitte Basel-Stadt)
  • Daniel Ordás (Vice-President GLP Basel-Stadt)
  • Dr Stefan Suter (SVP Councillor)

The event will be moderated by Elias H. Schäfer (Demokratie Labor) and Helena Krauser (bajour.ch).

Admission is free, registration is requested.

An event organised by Demokratie Labor

05-23, 2024
10:00 AM - 03:00 PM

Cologne

Committed to the common good - duty or optional extra?

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Location: Cologne-Deutz Youth Hostel, Siegesstr. 5, 50679 Cologne

Claudine Nierth, spokesperson for the federal board of Mehr Demokratie, is a guest at Caritas in the Archdiocese of Cologne and the diocesan volunteering working group. She talks to the participants about citizen participation, citizens' assemblies and the role they play in volunteering.

Compulsory social service has been the subject of controversial debate in society for months.

While some see compulsory service as counterproductive and diametrically opposed to the principle of voluntarism and self-determination, others believe that an obligation is the only way to ensure that more people are committed to the common good.

Many topics are mixed up in the debate, e.g. counteracting the shortage of skilled workers and personnel, considering the reintroduction of compulsory military service and civilian service, solving problems with recruiting new recruits in disaster and civil defence, etc.

Democracy needs a strong civil society!

But how can people be persuaded to get involved for the common good? What motivates and encourages them to do so? Does a commitment lead to greater social cohesion? Do we need a compulsory social year or is it rather counterproductive?

Caritas wants to shed light on these questions from various angles at the symposium "Committed to the common good - duty or optional extra?" in order to identify and formulate ideas and factors for strengthening social commitment.

Who will be there?

The keynote speaker and dialogue partner is Claudine Nierth. She is the spokesperson for the federal board of Mehr Demokratie, an organisation that has been working for many years to strengthen democracy and civic participation.

Other interesting dialogue partners will also be present.

Participation and registration

Participation is free of charge. However, Caritas asks you to register in advance.

For further information, please contact:
Lydia Ossmann | lydia.ossmann@caritasnet.de | 0221 2010 - 219
Elena Klein | elena.klein@caritasnet.de | 0221 2010 - 229

05-23, 2024
07:00 PM - 09:00 PM

Online

Online exercise: Micro-mini-publics

Location: Online,

Many people feel that our democracy is coming under pressure due to growing social division and multiple crises. In these challenging times, society needs all forces to strengthen our democracy.

That is why MeetingDemocracy wants to publicise a simple and tried-and-tested method that we can use to get more involved as a society and shape our future for the benefit of all.

It is the micro-mini-public, a method and a process that enables cooperation and awakens a sense of the common good. In a responsible role and at eye level, contentious issues are discussed and solutions are found together that everyone can live with.

The micro-mini-public is a special form of citizen participation by sortition, which was further developed by Wolfgang Scheffler from the planning cell developed by Professor Peter Dienel over 50 years ago.

On 23 May 2024 from 7 - 9 pm, MeetingDemocracy will be offering an online practice micro-mini-publics. There you can get to know the method in practice.

The topic will be 'How can we strengthen our democracy?'

Registration until 21 May 2024 at info@meetingdemocracy.net.

Learn more

05-24, 2024
04:00 PM - 08:00 PM

Berlin

Citizens' assemblies and their potential for the Berlin-Mitte district

Location: Stadtwerkstatt, Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 11, 10178 Berlin

In citizens' assemblies, randomly selected people exchange views on current issues and help shape political decisions. Lectures, a fishbowl discussion and workshops will discuss how this can work at district level and what role citizens' assemblies can play in the future development of Berlin-Mitte.

Programme

4 p.m.: Welcome address by the district mayor Stefanie Remlinger

16:30: Keynote speeches

  • Introduction to the topic of citizens' assemblies - Oliver Wiedmann (Mehr Demokratie)
  • Field report: INSEL jury in Charlottenburg-Nord - Rainer Leppin, Andrea Isermann Kühn (Initiative Nachhaltige Mierendorff-INSEL)
  • Planned citizens' assemblies in Mitte: KlimaKieze - Michael Eichinger (University of Heidelberg), Nicolina Kirby (RIFS Potsdam), Christian Unger (Kiezblockinitiative Nördliche Luisenstadt)

5.15 pm: Fishbowl discussion

6 pm: Workshops

Future prospects for participation in Mitte: district citizens' assemblies!

Participants from civil society, politics and administration will discuss whether and how citizens' assemblies can be a suitable format for the Mitte district. Opportunities, success factors and possible topics for the format will be discussed.

Collaboration in heterogeneous groups

Different people work together in committees such as residents', neighbourhood and citizens' assemblies as well as local initiatives. What needs to happen so that people of different ages, with diverse educational biographies, resources and possible experiences of discrimination can get involved and feel comfortable? In the workshop, experiences and strategies will be exchanged and developed on how to work well together in heterogeneous groups.

19:30: Concluding together with a buffet

Participation in the event is free of charge. Registration is not required. Catering will be provided.
The Stadtwerkstatt is accessible by lift. A barrier-free toilet is available.

An event organised by the Office for Citizen Participation Berlin-Mitte

05-29, 2024
10:00 AM - 10:30 AM

Berlin

Democracies care by lot: Experiences from the first national citizens' assemblies in Germany

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Location: STATION Berlin, Luckenwalder Str. 4 - 6, 10963 Berlin

Farmers' protests, Gaza, AfD - in times of heated debates, there is a longing for spaces where we can once again engage in objective dialogue.

"Talk like you always talk" - this is what Bundestag President Bas says to the participants of the Citizens' Assembly "Nutrition in Transition", the first Citizens' Assembly at federal level to be set up by the German Bundestag, as it gets underway.

The special thing about citizens' assemblies is that the participants are randomly selected from the population: Academics sit alongside tradeswomen, pensioners alongside young people, people born here alongside immigrants. Their task is to jointly propose solutions to political problems in face-to-face and online meetings. In this way, parliamentary decisions are prepared and supported.

The presentation will explain the experiences of implementing the Citizens' Assembly on Nutrition as a mixed format of analogue and online sessions at federal level. It will take a specific look at democratic innovations outside of parliament, such as citizens' assemblies in Germany, and their potential to foster democratic discourse.

Speakers

  • Felix Arndt, Head of the Citizens' Assembly Unit at the German Bundestag
  • Ina Poppelreuter, Public Relations Officer at the Citizens' Assembly "Nutrition in Transition"

The lecture is part of re:publica 24, this year's festival for the digital society under the motto "Who cares?".

05-30, 2024 10:00 AM
until 05-31, 2024 01:00 PM
The Hague (Netherlands)

Deliberation, Politics and Culture: Understanding Developments and Challenges

Location: University of Leiden - Campus The Hague, Institute of Public Administration, Turfmarkt 99, 2511 DP The Hague, Netherlands

Deliberation has gained momentum around the world over the last two decades. Beyond the diversification and use of its forms, deliberation matters in contemporary times, especially in the context of a growing alienation of people from state institutions and increasing disaffection with representative democracy and politicians.

The possibility to provide ordinary citizens access to the decision-making process through deliberation, the public demand for deliberation (including questions related to who participates), or the ways in which deliberation functions have been well documented in the literature. However, the interaction between deliberation, politics, and culture is under-studied.

Among others, several issues remain unclear: 

  • how do different cultural settings and traditions shape deliberative practices?
  • what are the contextual drivers and barriers for deliberation?
  • what is the role of culture in the relationship between deliberation and quality of democracy?
  • how can deliberation produce different impacts in society or politics?
  • how can politics and culture encourage / inhibit ordinary citizens to engage in deliberation?
  • how are minorities integrated in or excluded from deliberation?
  • what are the appropriate settings to ensure an inclusive engagement of citizens?
  • how can political institutions enhance the effectiveness of deliberation?

This conference aims to bring together works addressing, but not limited to, any of these points. 

The event will be interdisciplinary and will gather a group of 15-17 researchers working on these topics to facilitate knowledge sharing and a better understanding of current events.

The organizers strive for a balance between established academics and early career scholars (including PhD candidates). They encourage theoretical, empirical or methodological papers related to the topic of the conference.

Depending on the quality, and scope of works, the organizers have in mind a special issue in an international peer-reviewed journal or an edited volume with a high-profile publisher.

Venue, application procedure, and costs:

This is an in-person event that will be hosted by Leiden University at its campus in The Hague. Authors should fill in the application form (available here) until 31 March 2024 (applications received after the deadline will not be reviewed). There is no conference fee. The organizers will cover the travel costs, accommodation and meals for the entire duration of the conference. In the case of co-authored works, the costs for one author will be covered.

06-04, 2024
07:00 PM - 11:00 PM

Paris (France)

The ocean: a common good? A small citizens' assembly

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Location: Centvingtsept by Pixelis, 127 Av. Ledru Rollin, 75011 Paris, France

Limiting global warming, preserving marine biodiversity, making coasts habitable: ocean governance is at the heart of vital issues that will be debated in Nice in June 2025 at the 3rd United Nations Conference on the Oceans.

It's the perfect opportunity to try out the principle of a Citizens' Assembly adapted to the challenges of the 21st century, which takes into account the challenges of the Living World and the future of our descendants, together with Yves Mathieu.

Your mission, if you agree, is to produce in one evening a citizen's deliberation that brings together the voices of present generations, future generations and the Ocean itself.

Who is Yves Mathieu?

Yves Mathieu is founder and partner of Missions Publiques, an agency specialising in citizen participation. He works to invent new models of governance for better decisions today and tomorrow.

An event organised by the Institut des Futurs souhaitables

Background: Global Citizens' Assembly on Marine Conservation

06-05, 2024 09:30 AM
until 06-07, 2024 04:00 PM
Munich

Seminar: Dynamic Facilitation

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Location: Diakonie Hasenbergl, Stanigplatz 10, 80933 München

Dynamic Facilitation (DF) is a facilitation method that supports small and medium-sized groups in arriving at solutions that are often unexpected, surprisingly creative or particularly sustainable and transformative for all participants. Even seemingly unsolvable problems or conflicts can lead to completely new solutions.

The Dynamic Facilitation facilitator achieves this by creating a space of unconditional safety and appreciation for each participant. By taking a deep interest in everything that wants to be expressed and listening with great focus, the facilitator inspires the whole group to listen attentively, enabling each speaker to explore deeper within themselves as they speak, thereby awakening the wealth of possibilities that lie hidden within the group.

Concerns, resistance and strong feelings, which are otherwise often perceived as disruptive in group processes, are valuable and welcome here. They often prove to be decisive impulses for a sustainable solution.

In addition to the attentive attitude of the facilitator, DF requires a simple and clear formal setting. This essentially consists of four flipcharts, under which all the participants' contributions are recorded. This makes the group's process comprehensible and turns it into a shared story and thus into a further source of insight and growth.

In this three-day seminar, participants learn the most important elements of Dynamic Facilitation, the Wisdom Council Process and Citizens' Assemblies. They will experience DF and its effects in an exemplary way, practise it themselves, exchange ideas and thus immerse themselves deeply in what makes DF so special, also in comparison to other methods.

Learn more

06-05, 2024
03:00 PM - 05:00 PM

Online

Workshop: Engaging stakeholders in climate assemblies

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Location: Zoom video conferencing platform,

Climate assemblies and other mini-publics are designed to give space to a diverse group of citizens to learn, deliberate and come to collective recommendations. They are designed to protect citizens from the direct influence of stakeholders. But that does not mean stakeholders are absent from assemblies. In most designs, stakeholders are part of advisory bodies and may provide evidence to the assembly. Should their roles go beyond governance and evidence? Are there good reasons to integrate stakeholders into other aspects of assembly practice? If so, how?

This workshop presents the findings from a draft Briefing of the Knowledge Network on Climate Assemblies (KNOCA) on the different forms of involvement of stakeholders and their roles in climate assemblies. It asks what contributions - and challenges - stakeholders can bring to assemblies and how they can best be integrated. Drawing on a range of approaches to engaging stakeholders that have been developed at national, regional and municipal levels, the workshop will explore the pros and cons of deepening stakeholder engagement in climate assemblies.

The workshop will be led by Ines Omann who is authoring the Briefing and was lead consultant on the national Austrian Klimarat - the Citizens’ Climate Assembly. She will be joined by  Mirjam de Pagter (Moderator), Christoph Streissler ( Federal Chamber of Labour, Austria) and Simone Zippel (Climate Protection Manager, City of Erlangen, Germany), who have experimented with stakeholder engagement at sub-national levels to explore this critical set of questions.

06-05, 2024
07:30 PM - 09:00 PM

Online

Nutrition in Transition - what does the Citizens' Assembly say?

Location: Zoom video conferencing platform,

In 2023, the German Bundestag convened the Citizens' Assembly "Nutrition in Transition". 160 randomly selected people met from September last year until January 2024, discussed the topic and drew up proposals. They presented these to the Bundestag in February. The first and therefore most important proposal: free lunch for all children: free and healthy lunches are to be offered at all nurseries and schools nationwide.

The Klimabündnis Bergstraße (Bergstrasse Climate Alliance) believes that the topic of nutrition - including agriculture - is an important part of climate protection. The proposals of the Citizens' Assembly should therefore be widely discussed. The Klimabündnis was able to recruit Katrin Richthofer from the organisation Klimamitbestimmung (Climate co-determination), a competent speaker who has been closely involved in the Citizens' Assembly's "Nutrition in Transition" process and can report on it and the results of the Citizens' Assembly in an expert manner.

Fortunately, Achim Thomas from Lampertheim, who took part in the Citizens' Assembly himself, will be able to report on his experiences with the mini-public.

This will be followed by an opportunity for questions and discussion. What do we make of the Citizens' Assembly's recommendations on nutrition? Can such citizens' assemblies contribute to revitalising our democracy? What significance does all this have for climate protection? What can we learn from this for our region? And other questions can be discussed.

The event will take place on the Zoom video conferencing platform.

Zoom Access Link

Meeting-ID: 858 0107 1732 - ID-Code: 179609

06-06, 2024
12:00 PM - 01:00 PM

Online

Who sets the agenda in global citizen deliberation?

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Location: Zoom video conferencing platform,

How are the topic and remit of global citizens’ assemblies set? How should they be? This seminar invites speakers to reflect on research of the Global Citizens' Assembly Network (GloCAN) on the agenda-setting process of transnational deliberation, both government-led and private sector-led, and on the praxis of organising transnational processes, to discuss the factors and strategies shaping the questions that assemblies tackle.

Speakers:

Canning Malkin, GloCAN Independent researcher with a focus on deliberative democracy and environmental governance, currently collaborating with GloCAN and Democracy R&D

Kalypso Nicolaidis, EUI | Democratic Odyssey Chair in Global Affairs at the School of Transnational Governance in the European University Institute, convener of the EUI Democracy Forum, and initiator of the Democratic Odyssey

Moderator: Felipe Rey, iDeemos | GloCAN Professor of Public Law at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana and founding partner of iDeemos

Learn more:

An event in the GloCAN series on transnational deliberation

06-07, 2024
11:00 AM - 05:00 PM

Cologne

Citizen Participation Network

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Location: Cologne-Deutz Youth Hostel, Siegesstr. 5, 50679 Cologne

How can and should the relationship between civil society, administration and politics be balanced and organised in a modern democracy? What characterises forward-looking participation and involvement that meets the requirements of the future? And: How can we realise it?

Participants will discuss these and other questions at the meeting of the Citizen Participation Network on Friday, 7 June 2024 in Cologne.

Under the title "Citizen participation is changing. New scope for civil society, administration and politics", the discussion will, as always, focus on the experiences and insights of the network members. New developments in the Citizen Participation Network and the current status of plans for the Climate Democracy Network will also be presented.

At the Network Market of Opportunities, participants will discuss the networkers' innovative participation and cooperation projects that are reshaping the scope for action between civil society, administration and politics. The specialised association "Mehr Demokratie" offers information and discussions on climate citizens' assemblies and permanent citizens' assemblies here.

Workshops on current topics and activities of the Citizen Participation Network will take place in the afternoon of the network meeting. The following workshops are currently on the agenda

Self-organised groups in the field of tension between independence and cooperation with the municipality - What promotes effective cooperation?
First face-to-face meeting of the new thematic team

New alliances to strengthen local democracy
Current discussions in the thematic team "Networking local stakeholders - developing cooperation"

Municipal development councils

Shaping transformation democratically - (citizen) participation towards more climate protection and sustainability
Discussion of contributions from the newsletter 2/2024 of the Citizen Participation Network

Quality check participation & involvement of the Citizen Participation Network
Presentation and discussion of the status of planning

Being part (of the solution). Self-efficacy as a cross-cultural motive and motivator for active participation

Learn more

06-10, 2024 11:00 AM
until 06-15, 2024 03:00 PM
St. John's (Canada) / Cape Town (South Africa) / Belo Horizonte (Brazil)

2024 Participedia School on Transnational Democratic Innovations

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The landscape of transnational public participation - the involvement of individuals or groups from multiple countries in political processes, decision-making, design, or advocacy that transcend national borders or issues - is rapidly changing. There are new innovations, theories, movements, policies, and successes happening around the world. The entangled challenges facing us extend beyond national boundaries, and so do their democratic solutions.

These new transnational processes, methods, and tools are seeing uptake, whether through global deliberative mini-publics and transnational deliberative organizational designs, to, digital infrastructures and methods of connected participation, research, engagement, and coalition building. Now, more than ever, we need to convene on, share, hear from those with experience, and acquire the skills to respond to, learn from, identify, research, and design transnational democratic innovations.

In partnership with Memorial University, the University of Western Cape, McMaster University, the Coady Institute, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Innovation for Policy Foundation, Mission Publiques, Democracy International, and a consortium of leading practitioners and scholars, join us for the next Participedia School on Transnational Democratic Innovations!

The event will take place in person on June 10-15, 2024 simultaneously at three decentralized locations: Memorial University (St. John’s, Canada), the University of Western Cape (Cape Town, South Africa), and the Federal University of Minas Gerais (Belo Horizonte, Brazil). The Brazil experience will primarily take place in Spanish/Portuguese, and the three locations will be connected by unique virtual programming with live translation to maximize accessibility and impact. Using this globally decentralized approach, Participedia hopes to create a transnational ecosystem of learning that reflects the subject, connecting students and practitioners from around the world with each other and leading experts.

Participants can register to attend in person at all locations until spots are filled (50 spaces per campus). Limited scholarships are available on a ‘needs basis’ to cover registration, travel, and housing. All food and drink will be provided to attendees.

The Participedia School will offer:

  1. Accredited skills training: Support an exchange of learnings between practitioners, students, and scholars under a guided curriculum that leads to skill and field development recognized with a certificate of participation from the Coady Institute. University credit may be available at your home institution, contact us for more information.

  2. Interdisciplinary, intersectional, and international exchange: Provide opportunity for practitioners, students and scholars to engage with experiences, peoples, and ideas from around the world in a collaborative framework that will lead to new research questions, policy approaches, and partnerships.

  3. Knowledge sharing, transfer, and collaboration: Explore cutting-edge theories, research, and experience-informed learnings on transnational democratic innovations through problem solving and co-design.

  4. Knowledge synthesis and dissemination: Build awareness and knowledge amongst the staff of international organizations, diplomats, transnational civil society, activists and university students about the theory and practice of transnational democracy, synthesizing learnings in an open-access publication.

Where: Memorial University (MUN), St. Johns, Newfoundland, Canada; University of Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa; Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil

When: June 10-15, 2024

Who: Professionals whose work can be enhanced by deepening participation across borders and applying transnational participatory practices; civil society practitioners, advocates, and networks whose impact can be enhanced by strategic participation in, and the ability to create, design, and foster transnational democratic innovations; and higher education students interested in the theory and practice of democracy across borders.

Fee Schedule:

Memorial University in St. John's Newfoundland, Canada

Language: English (Primary) Practitioners fee: $800 CDN Students fee: $800 CDN

University of Western Cape in Cape Town, South Africa

Language: English (Primary) Practitioners fee: $800 CDN Students fee: $800 CDN

Federal University of Minas Gerais in Belo Horizonte, Brazil

Language: Spanish/Portuguese (Primary) Practitioners fee: $400 CDN Students fee: $0 CDN

Mehr Informationen

06-11, 2024
02:00 PM - 03:30 PM

Online

Climate Assemblies: Emerging Trends, Challenges and Opportunities

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Location: Zoom video conferencing platform,

What are the principal challenges we face in ensuring assemblies with impact? How can we shape emerging opportunities to bring the voice of citizens into climate governance?

The Knowledge Network on Climate Assemblies (KNOCA) has published an updated version of its report on emerging trends in climate assemblies at the end of April. In this event, KNOCA chair Graham Smith will present the main insights from the report.

The participants will be joined by Erica Hope, Director of the Climate Governance Programme at the European Climate Foundation and Claudia Chwalisz, Founder and CEO of DemocracyNext to lead a discussion on the state of play for climate assemblies. The updated version of the report can be found here.

Background: Climate action through citizens' assemblies?

06-12, 2024 08:30 AM
until 06-14, 2024 01:00 PM
Brussels (Belgium)

5th Citizen Participation and Deliberative Democracy Festival

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Location: CDMA European Commission, 21 Rue du Champ De Mars, 1050 Ixelles, Brussels, Belgium

The Citizen Participation and Deliberative Democracy Festival brings together people who are interested in the engagement of citizens through deliberative and other participatory formats in science and policymaking, with participants from the EU and national public institutions, politicians, representatives of civil society organisations, researchers, practitioners, artists and ordinary citizens.    

Organised by European Commission’s Competence Centre on Participatory and Deliberative Democracy (CC-DEMOS), the Festival is also the main networking event of its Community of Practice. The programme features a variety of activities, including expert panels, conversations, workshops, artwork presentations, exhibitions of participatory projects and hands-on presentations of methods and tools. We aim to shed light on the opportunities and challenges that the engagement of citizens in science and policymaking is facing. 

2024 theme

The theme for the 5th Festival will be the engagement of citizens in addressing environmental issues. This includes, for instance, transversal concerns related to climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution, environmental health, land use, oceans, as well as regional and local issues such as climate-neutrality of cities and energy transition. Over the last few years, and in response to these issues, we have seen a growing number of participatory processes, such as citizen assemblies, focusing on biodiversity and climate change across Europe - and the world - convened both by public and non-governmental bodies at local, regional, national and global levels, as well as many other non-invited formats of citizen engagement. It is important that we bring our research, practitioner and policymaker communities together to discuss these initiatives and reflect on how to use these tools to help strengthen our democracies and give citizens a meaningful say in policies that concern them.   

The theme also engages directly with the European Green Deal, one of Commission’s priorities, with its goals of climate neutrality by 2050 and those set in the biodiversity strategy for 2030. To make the green transition just, fit-for-purpose and sustainable in the long term, the involvement of citizens is paramount. In this context, in 2023 the Commission ran a European Citizen Panel on food waste, and in 2024 another one focused on energy efficiency.  

And yet, the relation between environmental action and democracy, or even more so citizen engagement, is by no means obvious, as a recent survey in European countries illustrates: ‘53% of young Europeans place more confidence in authoritarian states than democracies when it comes to addressing the climate crisis’.   

Between political tensions, the legal and institutional frameworks in place and the alarming calls from scientists about deteriorating environmental conditions - How much power do citizens actually have to influence decision making processes? Can co-creation processes, including with the most vulnerable or affected by the issue of concern help avoid the negative consequences not only of climate change, but also of so-called green policies? Have the processes to date helped address the political divisions in this area or support systemic transformation? What role for different ways of engaging and spaces of participation to navigate such uncharted waters? How are participatory processes being integrated with the established governance mechanisms from local to the international levels? These are some of the questions the participants will address over the three days of the Festival.   

Learn more

06-12, 2024
05:00 PM - 06:30 PM

Online

Citizens' Assembly Network: With many emotions

Location: Zoom video conferencing platform,

"Facts don't make anyone change their behaviour," said Prof. Dr Maren Urner in a recent interview with DIE ZEIT. Feelings can change attitudes and behaviour. More precisely, if feelings are allowed, attitudes and behaviour can change. But often the space for this is not safe enough and people have resistance to feeling feelings. That is quite normal.

Dr Josef Merk, Co-Head of Democratic Culture at Mehr Demokratie, talks to you about the role feelings play in citizens' assemblies and how the implicit clarification of the relationship level enables a constructive factual debate. 

Interested parties are welcome!

The event will be recorded and the recording will be made available to network members afterwards.

Please register at info@buergerrat.de

Learn more: Citizens' Assembly Network

06-13, 2024
11:00 AM - 05:15 PM

Berlin

Social Summit: Trust each other!

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Location: Amplifier Berlin, Building 12.5, Gustav-Meyer-Allee 25, 13355 Berlin

Meet Mehr Demokratie federal board spokeswoman Claudine Nierth at the Social Summit in Berlin, which is being organised by the agency neues.handeln together with brand eins, this year under the motto "Trust each other!".

Many people are currently sending out an important signal in favour of democracy and against racism. But is that enough? Many people's trust in democracy and good co-operation has suffered greatly. Issues such as climate change, migration and gender have become a question of identity. A constructive culture of dialogue and social responsibility are falling by the wayside.

How can new trust be created? How do we reach people who are turning away? How do we create an activating atmosphere characterised by a spirit of optimism? And where can this exchange take place outside of our own bubble in the future? These and other questions are at the centre of this year's SocialSummit.

Trust is the basis for realising ideas for our common future as a society. This requires dialogue, especially with those who disagree with us. Practical approaches in civil society, journalism and politics show how this can work. Get to know them at the SocialSummit and join the discussion.

The Social Summit organised by the agency neues.handeln aims to bring together pioneers who are committed to actively shaping the basis of our democratic coexistence - in politics, the media, civil society and business.

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06-13, 2024
12:00 PM - 01:00 PM

Online

Can a global citizens’ assembly be organised democratically?

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Location: Zoom video conferencing platform,

How are citizens’ assemblies run? Can, and should, the principles of participatory and deliberative democracy be applied to how these processes are organised and implemented?

This seminar turns to these complex questions drawing on research of the Global Citizens' Assembly Network (GloCAN) spanning local and national assemblies in three continents, and the case of the Global Assembly.

Speakers

Melisa Ross, University of Bremen Postdoctoral researcher at SOCIUM research center on inequality and social policy, and Co-Lead at GloCAN

Flynn Devine, 2021 Global Assembly Core Team Former founding member of the Global Assembly and researcher on AI and collective intelligence, previously engaged with the Collective Intelligence Project and Recursive Public

Moderator: Rikki Dean, Goethe University Frankfurt | GloCAN Deputy-Director of the Democratic Innovations Research Unit at Goethe University Frankfurt, and Co-Investigator on the INSPIRE project funded by Horizon Europe.

Learn more:

An event in the GloCAN series on transnational deliberation

06-13, 2024
01:30 PM - 05:00 PM

The Hague (Netherlands)

Conference: Lessons learned from two years of the Citizens' Assemblies in the Netherlands

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Location: Willemshof, Nassaulaan 12, 2514 JS The Hague, Netherlands

Many Dutch municipalities are already using citizens' assemblies or are planning to do so. Around 30 mini-publics will take place in 2024, 20 have already been finalised. At least 60 municipalities and provinces are currently planning to organise a citizens' assembly.

In short, it's time to take stock. How did the first round of citizens' assemblies go? And what can we learn from it for future mini-publics?

During the conference, Eva Rovers (author of the book 'Nu is het aan ons'), among others, will report on the first citizens' assemblies. Participants will share lessons learnt from practice and research.

Workshops

  • Organisation: What does a local citizens' assembly need (and what does it cost)?
  • Mandate and political support: risks, dilemmas and practical tips
  • The composition of the citizens' assembly: How do you attract (a diverse group of) participants? And how do you reach hard-to-reach target groups?
  • Organising meetings: Design, inclusive working formats and facilitation

In particular, politicians, administrators and representatives of municipalities and provinces who are interested in citizens' assemblies are invited.

The plenary programme (1:30  - 2:45 pm CEST) can be followed both live and online (hybrid).

Since the spring of 2023, the VNG (Association of Dutch Municipalities) and the Ministry of the Interior have been supporting eight Dutch municipalities with their 'Pilot Citizens' Assemblies'. As part of this pilot project, the VNG and the Ministry of the Interior are organising this conference.

06-18, 2024
06:00 PM - 07:30 PM

Online

Democracy amplifiers: outreach participation / speaking & listening / support for democracy initiatives

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Location: Zoom video conferencing platform,

Do you want to stand up for democracy but don't know where to start? DemokratieVerstärker connects you with organisations that are working to strengthen and develop our democracy. At each event, you will learn about three specific approaches that you can use to take action immediately afterwards.

On 19 June, the focus will be on how to win people over to political participation. Using dialogue methods, you will learn how to move from personal feelings to an objective discussion. It will also be explained how your initiative can be supported to strengthen our democracy.

The topics

Sortition with door-knocking: Taking part in participation events is an enriching experience for many people. The specific effects of this are presented on the basis of preliminary results from the evaluation of the Hallo Bundestag project, focussing on sortition with door-knocking. This is applied by Es geht LOS, as many people do not respond to an invitation by letter. This means that important perspectives are missing (e.g. non-voters and discriminated groups). Es geht LOS activists go to the homes of those invited and seek dialogue there. In this way, barriers to participation can be broken down and people motivated to take part. Es geht LOS would also like to invite people to join the outreach network. Here, the organisation publishes when it needs support with outreach and provides resources (training, possibly an expense allowance).

"Talking & Listening" is a dialogue format developed by Mehr Demokratie. Participants experience a non-hierarchical exchange in which they can share their own experiences. Without having to express emotions directly, feelings become tangible. This gives everyone a sense of "where the other person stands". Listening creates empathy and respect, especially when the participants recognise similarities to their own experiences while listening. After several rounds of dialogue, a good basis is created for substantive and factual work on a topic. The format is easy to implement and a simple way to strengthen democratic co-operation.

Zusammen für Demokratie is a federal alliance in which the members coordinate their activities in defence of democracy and support the courageous people who stand up for democratic values under sometimes difficult conditions throughout the country. The alliance offers support to initiatives that are active locally. It will work together with existing networks and alliances, particularly in the federal states where local and state elections will be held in 2024. The support is flexibly tailored to the needs as seen and identified by local initiatives.

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06-18, 2024
06:00 PM - 07:15 PM

Online

Are everyday citizens competent deliberators?

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Location: University Canberra, Bldg 24, University Drive South, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia

For Daniel Kübler, the role of citizen competence in democracy is a controversial issue. Empirical studies find that citizen incompetence is astonishingly widespread but crucially depends on elite cues in public debates related to decision-making processes. A realistic approach thus needs to acknowledge the context in which citizen participation and deliberation take place and understand how this context fosters (or does not foster) citizen competence.

Meanwhile, for Simon Niemeyer, the longstanding debate concerning everyday citizen competence draws on outdated models of individual rationality applied to a problematic democratic stage. If we instead understand human deliberative capabilities as evolved in dynamic group settings a dramatically different picture emerges - one that exposes deep injustice, in terms how we understand citizen competence and how that failure in many democratic traditions has served to undermine it.

Speakers

Simon Niemeyer is a Professor and co-founder of the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance at the University of Canberra. His research in deliberative democracy includes conceptualising the nature of deliberative reason and understanding the conditions that support it. 

Daniel Kübler is a Professor of Political Science and co-directs the Center for Democracy Studies at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. His research focuses, among others, on citizens’ opinion formation in direct democratic voting, as well as on participation in citizen assemblies.

Moderator

Lucy J Parry is a Research Associate at the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance.

This event organised by the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance will take place at 6 pm AEDT (9 am CEST).

Interested parties can follow the event via the Zoom video conferencing platform.

An event in the series 10 big questions on deliberative democracy

06-18, 2024
07:00 PM - 08:30 PM

Online

Further development process of the Black Forest National Park - use of Dynamic Facilitation in a multi-actor conflict

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Location: Zoom video conferencing platform,

How do you thematically develop a national park where some want to maximise process protection, others species protection and still others tourism without regard for protected areas?

This DF Talk offers an insight into the process of expanding the Black Forest National Park using dynamic facilitation in a multi-stakeholder conflict.

Dynamic Facilitation is a facilitation method that supports small and medium-sized groups to reach solutions that are often unexpected, surprisingly creative or particularly sustainable and transformative for all participants. Even seemingly unsolvable problems or conflicts can lead to completely new approaches.

In the process for the further development of the Black Forest National Park, more than 30 recommendations were developed by consensus by four working groups. Dr Thomas Uhlendahl (memoU), who was the project manager within the "Generationen.Dialog.Zukunft e.V." team and moderated two of the four working groups, also reports on what the politicians then made of them.

Background to the project

The Black Forest National Park is to be expanded not only spatially, but also thematically. The topics are diverse, ranging from process and species protection to tourism and transport, and the conflicts are just as diverse.

To this end, the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of the Environment has set up a process in which recommendations for state policy are to be drawn up from the public as well as from the National Park Council and Advisory Board.

"Generationen.Dialog.Zukunft e. V." was assigned the task of accompanying the process for the working groups from the council and advisory board. As the conflict situation was obvious, the invitation to tender made sure that trained mediators took over the moderation.

Dynamic Facilitation was therefore used in the four working groups, which were very well represented by the advisory boards from science and organisations, while the political representatives from the Council were somewhat less well represented.

Dynamic Facilitation once again proved to be an extremely powerful method for promoting a change of perspective and the assumption of responsibility for developing joint solutions.

In up to four meetings, the working groups drew up recommendations that were almost completely adopted by the Advisory Board and were also unanimously approved by the Council after being slightly modified by the politicians. Thomas Uhlendahl will also report on what lies behind the modification of the recommendations prior to the Council's decision.

An event organised by Dynamic Facilitation.

06-20, 2024 10:00 AM
until 06-22, 2024 04:00 PM
Berlin

Seminar: Dynamic Facilitation

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Location: Berlin, (Venue follows)

In this three-day seminar you will learn how to successfully apply Dynamic Facilitation, a unique facilitation method, in different contexts. This ranges from the corporate sector to citizen participation, especially the Citizens' Assembly and the Wisdom Council Process. But you will also celebrate breakthroughs with Dynamic Facilitation in individual 1:1 coaching.

Dynamic Facilitation is particularly well suited in situations where complex problems need to be solved or creative solutions need to be developed. Here are some examples:

  1. Citizen participation and citizens' assemblies: Dynamic Facilitation enables citizens to actively participate in solution-finding processes. It promotes open dialogue and supports the development of solutions to societal challenges.
  2. Innovation processes: In companies, Dynamic Facilitation can be used to generate innovative ideas and address complex problems in product development or strategic planning.
  3. Conflict resolution: The method is also suitable for conflict resolution and mediation. It enables parties in conflict to express their concerns and seek solutions together.
  4. Team development: Dynamic Facilitation can be used in team development processes to strengthen cooperation and promote the creativity of team members.
  5. Individual coaching: In coaching, the method can be used to support individuals in solving personal challenges and to activate their own creative resources.

In general, Dynamic Facilitation is suitable whenever diverse perspectives and ideas want to be brought together to tackle complex problems and find jointly supported solutions.

The seminar offers the opportunity to learn from experienced trainers and to exchange ideas with other participants. Discover the potential of Dynamic Facilitation.

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06-20, 2024
12:00 PM - 01:00 PM

Online

How can global citizens’ assemblies connect to local contexts?

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Location: Zoom video conferencing platform,

Citizen assemblies are generally based on a civic lottery, or sortition - a process that draws individuals from a demographically representative pool.

Critical voices have raised issues with the conceptual and practical aspects of this seemingly ‘individualised’ form of representation and participation. Can global assemblies create connections between assembly members and their communities? How can assembly members better represent their places of origin? What can global citizens’ assemblies learn from transnational social movements?

This discussion approaches both the theoretical and practical implications of these questions.

Speakers:

Susan Lee, Stanford University Honors Student at the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law at Stanford University and former founding member of the Global Assembly

Andrea Felicetti, Università di Padova Senior Assistant Professor in Political Science at Università di Padova, author of “Deliberative Democracy and Social Movements” and coauthor of “Discursive Turns and Critical Junctures”

Moderator: Lucas Veloso, UFMG | GloCAN PhD candidate at the Democracy and Justice Research Group (MARGEM) at UFMG

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An event in the GloCAN series on transnational deliberation

06-23, 2024
03:00 PM - 06:30 PM

Berlin

Hallo Bundestag - Closing event

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Location: Festsaal der Berliner Stadtmission, Lehrter Str. 68, 10557 Berlin

Who knows their MP(s) in the German Bundestag? How often do we have real contact with politicians? How do MPs get a good picture of what concerns people in their constituency? And how can politicians incorporate the opinions of many different people into their decisions in a meaningful way? These questions were at the centre of the Hallo Bundestag project.

In January 2023, the project "Hallo Bundestag - Elected. Voted. Together." project was launched in January 2023 with the aim of strengthening contact between federal politics and the people. At the heart of the representative system: in the constituency.   

17 constituency days later, the project has brought 414 randomly selected people together with their members of parliament in their constituency.

On the afternoon of 23 June, Es geht LOS will celebrate the conclusion of the project and take a look back at the last one and a half years: What insights have been gained, what challenges have been faced and what successes has the format achieved? Who were the people selected and what did they gain from participating in the constituency day? What added value did the format create for the MPs?    

Together with participants, the external scientific support and others involved in the project, Es geht LOS would like to answer these questions and many more. And perhaps for dessert, we will take a cautious look into the future. 

06-27, 2024
12:00 PM - 01:00 PM

Online

How can global citizens’ assemblies make an impact on global governance?

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Location: Zoom video conferencing platform,

Much has been said about the importance, potential, and urgency of bringing citizen voices directly to the global governance stage. But how exactly can this happen? What role should global citizens’ assemblies play in the crowded scene of international organisations and transnational activism?

In this event organised by the Global Citizens' Assembly Network (GloCAN) explores ideas, recipes, and strategies to create pathways to impact from global citizen deliberation to institutions of global governance, and the challenges that come associated with them.

Speakers

Aish Machani, Iswe Foundation United Nations Advocacy Co-lead at Iswe Foundation and former United Nations Foundation Next Generation Fellow

Camille Dobler, Missions Publiques Head of Research at Missions Publiques

Antoine Vergne, Missions Publiques Co-Director at Missions Publiques

Moderator: Nicole Curato, University of Canberra | GloCAN Professor of Political Sociology at the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance at the University of Canberra and GloCAN’s founder and Co-Lead

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An event in the GloCAN series on transnational deliberation

06-27, 2024
05:00 PM - 06:00 PM

Online

Citizens and policy makers together: hybrid processes for smarter policies

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Location: Zoom video conferencing platform,

How can we design processes bringing citizens and policy makers smartly together?

“What I realized is that we make so many mistakes because we don’t talk to the people who actually use the service.”

This observation was made by the mayor of Gentofte, a city north of Copenhagen. In order to ensure that public policy is as effective and legitimate as possible, he opted to fundamentally transform the decision-making process by fostering a new approach to dialogue between citizens and politicians: the introduction of Political Task Committees (PTCs).

PTCs represent a successful example of hybrid processes that effectively bring citizens and politicians together in a strategic manner to enhance policy-making. Another recent example emerged from the Wallonia region of Belgium: the Deliberative Committees. Thirty citizens, chosen by random selection, collaborated with ten Walloon MPs as part of a committee tasked with considering citizens’ proposals over six sessions. Together, they addressed the question: “How can we engage Walloons in decision-making processes in a deliberative and enduring manner, drawing inspiration from the ongoing citizen dialogue present in the German-speaking Community East Belgium, which operates through random selection?”.

Join Smarter Together’s next webinar discussing this important democratic innovation relying on Collective Intelligence’s principles.

Eva Sørensen will share her analysis of the Political Task Committees in Denmark featured in the handbook of collective intelligence for democracy.

Stephen Boucher will showcase the results of Wallonia’s first-ever Deliberative Committee, where Members of Parliament and a panel of citizens produced a series of groundbreaking recommendations on new forms on decision making.

07-01, 2024 09:00 AM
until 07-05, 2024 02:00 PM
Bremen

Our democracy: under threat - defenceless - in need of reform?

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Location: VHS im Bamberger, Room 303, Faulenstr. 69, 28195 Bremen

Our democracy seems to be on the brink of change and is also being questioned. The VHS Bremen invites you to discuss whether our democracy is under threat and how it could be improved.

What are the reasons for seemingly brutal behaviour and an increasing propensity to violence? What values are important to us in democratic coexistence? The participants in this seminar will examine how these values are challenged in our experience by militant protests, neo-Nazis, extremists, fake internet and media campaigns or excessive state controls and police violence. To this end, the participants will talk to the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, parties and organisations in Bremen about what they are doing to defend our democratic coexistence and improve it through civil courage and commitment.

Do we want to "dare more democracy" through plebiscites and citizens' assemblies? Democratic competence is practised in practice.

Participation fee: 95 euros

07-01, 2024 01:00 PM
until 07-03, 2024 02:00 PM
Toulouse (France)

European Conference on Citizen Participation

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Location: Centre des Congrés Pierre Baudis, 11Esp. Compans Caffarelli, 31000, Toulouse, France

Décider ensemble, in collaboration with the City of Toulouse, is organising the Rencontres européennes de la participation (European Conferences on Citizen Participation) for the eighth consecutive year.

A week during which participants can exchange, question, confront and share their practices, ideas and expectations on the role of citizen participation in accompanying change for tomorrow through debates, workshops, exchanges of experiences, experiments and informal exchanges.

These conferences are the annual meeting of the actors of citizen participation in France and Europe with more than 1,000 participants.

Programme

 How can citizen participation accompany the changes of tomorrow?

  • Monday 1 July: The first day is dedicated to the city of Toulouse, co-organiser of this 8th edition, and the discovery of its participatory approaches, its committed actors, its territory, its heritage and its culture. This day will end with the opening ceremony at the Espace Vanel.
  • Tuesday 2 July and Wednesday 3 July: participants will meet at the Centre des Pierre Baudis in the heart of the city centre for two days of exchanges and debates.
  • Thursday, 4 July and Friday, 5 July: The Rencontres will continue with several webinars and digital workshops with the participation of international players.

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07-02, 2024
11:00 AM - 12:15 PM

Canberra (Australia) / Online

How should deliberative democracy respond to extremism?

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Location: University Canberra, Bldg 24, University Drive South, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia

Far-right extremism threatens democracy by spreading exclusionary and anti-democratic ideals, such as white supremacy. How can deliberative democracy help us understand the roles of the media and political leaders in responding to the harms caused by extremist actors? What pragmatic solutions can deliberative processes offer, especially in countering extremism's personal and emotional appeals?

This event is part 6 of a 10-part seminar series on 10 Big Questions on Deliberative Democracy convened by Dr Adele Webb. 

About the speakers

Jordan McSwiney is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance at the University of Canberra. He researches the far right, with a focus on the organisation and communication of far-right parties and movements. He is the author of Far-Right Political Parties in Australia: Disorganisation and Electoral Failure (Routledge). 

John Gastil is a Professor at Penn State University. He has studied political psychology and democratic innovations for thirty years, and some of the reforms he has proposed became law. He received major funding to study attitude formation and how people revise their beliefs when invited into more deliberative political institutions and experiences. 

Moderator

Selen Ercan is the Director of the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance at the University of Canberra.

The event organised by the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance will take place at 11 am AEDT (1 am CEST).

Interested parties can also follow the event via the Zoom video conferencing platform.

An event in the series 10 big questions on deliberative democracy

07-17, 2024 09:30 AM
until 07-19, 2024 04:00 PM
Karlsruhe

Seminar: Dynamic Facilitation

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Location: Haus der Jugendverbände Anne Frank, Moltkestr. 20, 76133 Karlsruhe

Dynamic Facilitation (DF) is a facilitation method that supports small and medium-sized groups in arriving at solutions that are often unexpected, surprisingly creative or particularly sustainable and transformative for all participants. Even seemingly unsolvable problems or conflicts can lead to completely new solutions.

The Dynamic Facilitation facilitator achieves this by creating a space of unconditional safety and appreciation for each participant. By taking a deep interest in everything that wants to be expressed and listening with great focus, the facilitator inspires the whole group to listen attentively, enabling each speaker to explore deeper within themselves as they speak, thereby awakening the wealth of possibilities that lie hidden within the group.

Concerns, resistance and strong feelings, which are otherwise often perceived as disruptive in group processes, are valuable and welcome here. They often prove to be decisive impulses for a sustainable solution.

In addition to the attentive attitude of the facilitator, DF requires a simple and clear formal setting. This essentially consists of four flipcharts, under which all the participants' contributions are recorded. This makes the group's process comprehensible and turns it into a shared story and thus into a further source of insight and growth.

In this three-day seminar, participants learn the most important elements of Dynamic Facilitation, the Wisdom Council Process and Citizens' Assemblies. They will experience DF and its effects in an exemplary way, practise it themselves, exchange ideas and thus immerse themselves deeply in what makes DF so special, also in comparison to other methods.

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07-19, 2024
09:30 AM - 06:30 PM

Tübingen

Network meeting of the Alliance for Participation 2024

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Location: Westspitze, Eisenbahnstr. 1, 72072 Tübingen

Since the Alliance for Participation was founded, the network meeting has been the central annual format for the network to exchange views on current issues relating to strengthening civil society and citizen participation in Baden-Württemberg.

This year, the focus is on the topic of "broad participation". The Alliance for Participation firmly believes that everyone should have the opportunity to contribute their ideas and suggestions. This means that everyone should be able to participate without barriers if they so wish.

As part of the network meeting, the Alliance not only wants to provide information on the topic and shed light on it from different perspectives, but also provide basic tools that you can use in your local projects. This is because the Alliance often hears in discussions that the claim of "broad participation" cannot always be realised locally, even if the will is there.

In the morning, key aspects and issues of "broad participation" will be discussed with experts and stakeholders from politics, administration and civil society. In the afternoon, various workshop formats will be used to translate the content to your local participation practice. You can find the full invitation with all the details of the programme here!

08-05, 2024 10:00 AM
until 08-09, 2024 01:00 PM
Walsrode

Seminar: Applied democracy

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Location: ver.di BIZ Walsrode, Sunderstr. 77, 29664 Walsrode

There are many complaints that our political system has degenerated into a sham democracy in which powerful economic interests ultimately prevail. Even in our direct contexts, we repeatedly encounter the phenomenon that democracy is a nice idea, but nobody knows how it actually works.

Instead of dwelling on our worries, the organisers of this seminar want to focus on the new structures that have emerged to make democracy a tangible experience on a small and large scale. This week, the participants will be focussing on people who are breaking new ground in their company or community contexts. With the help of sociocracy, systemic consensus-building and a constructive feedback culture, they ensure that minorities can actually be actively involved and that changes can be shaped together in a motivated way.

There are many examples from social change movements - from campact to the economy for the common good, from citizens' assemblies to school parliaments - that can inspire us to set active, democratising impulses even in the corporate environment. democratising impulses. It often starts with your own attitude, with communication and the courage to question habits.

Seminar fee: € 425.00
ver.di members take part free of charge

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08-06, 2024
11:00 AM - 12:15 PM

Canberra (Australia) / Online

How can deliberative democracy challenge macho populism?

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Location: University Canberra, Bldg 24, University Drive South, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia

Can deliberative democracy challenge macho populism? For Hans Asenbaum, the field of deliberative democracy may have come a long way in recognising female marginalisation, but it has so far neglected cisgender, heterosexual, masculinities. Only when deliberative democracy recognises such hegemonic identities can it challenge the heterosexist domination underpinning macho populism.

María Esperanza Casullo has a different take. For her, deliberative democracy can challenge macho populism by upholding the value of the most basic of human activities: talking. Macho populism seeks to define the simple act of talking as unproductive, decadent, in sum, feminine. It has a clear preference for supposedly masculine performances of aggression. Therefore, the act of deliberation itself has the potential to become the grounds for resistance.

About the speakers

Hans Asenbaum is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance at the University of Canberra. His research interests include radical democracy, queer and gender studies, digital politics, and participatory research methods. Hans is the author of The Politics of Becoming: Anonymity and Democracy in the Digital Age (Oxford University Press, 2023). The book draws on queer theory to make sense of identity transformation in democracy. His work has been published in the American Political Science Review, Politics & Gender, and the Journal of Gender Studies.

María Esperanza Casullo is an Associate Professor at the National University of Rio Negro and a researcher at CONICET in Argentina. She obtained a PhD in political theory from Georgetown University. She has published extensively on democratic theory and populism. Her last published paper is "The populist body in the age of social media: A comparative study of populist and non-populist representation" in Thesis Eleven, in co-authorship with Rodolfo Colalongo. 

Moderator

Jordan McSwiney is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance at the University of Canberra.

This event organised by the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance will take place at 11 am AEDT (1 am CEST).

Interested parties can also follow the event via the Zoom video conferencing platform.

An event in the series 10 big questions on deliberative democracy

08-09, 2024
10:00 AM - 05:00 PM

Dublin (Ireland)

Cross-border Transformations - Deliberation and Participation in Constitutional Politics

Location: UCD Geary Institute for Public Policy, University College, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland

Recent advances in the field of participatory and deliberative democracy have brought a strong set of normative critiques that address the various shortcomings of and challenges encountered by contemporary representative democracies. These criticisms emphasise the need for a higher level of public engagement, more robust and effective representation, and stronger mechanisms for involving citizens in the decision-making process. In addition, they point towards ways to provide greater transparency and accountability in the political process and improve the quality of public discourse and deliberation.

For the first joint conference of the Participatory & Deliberative Democracy Specialist Groups of the Irish and British Political Studies Association, we welcome theoretical and empirical contributions from all researchers in the field.

The focal point of this conference, though, are questions and debates about the use of participatory and deliberative “democratic innovations” to address questions of constitutional reform, state/regime form and territorial politics.

Against the backdrop of “democratic crisis phenomena” in (what were considered) established democracies as well as in the aftermath of Brexit, these issues gain salience. In current public and scholarly debates, questions arise with respect to the emerging constitutional debate on a potential future united Ireland; others arise in the United Kingdom, in debates over devolution and federalisation; and they are related to important issues internationally from Catalonia to Chile. They are important as a central element in developing an agenda for future participatory research.

A range of recent participatory and deliberative processes not just address specific policy-issues, but their potential to “change the rules of the democratic game”, for institutional reforms and constitution-making amidst territorial change. Two illustrative examples are the Icelandic constitutional reform and the German citizens’ assembly on the future of democracy.

Furthermore, the concept of multilevel structures for deliberation and participation in politics and more complex combinations of different democratic innovations has gained considerable attention in recent years. The emergence of new advances in technology and the changing face of politics now just as recurring debates about “democratic constitutionalism” promise that people’s voices are not only heard. Rather, a range of researchers and practitioners attempt to involve so-called “lay citizens” in the process of writing and amending constitutions, allowing for a more democratic and inclusive approach to constitutional politics. Throughout the conference we will address this potential, as well as the potential for ‘systemic’ and ‘participatory’ approaches to constitutional reforms.

In this one-day inaugural conference, held just before the ECPR  2024 conference in Dublin, the organisers want to combine international comparison and theoretical insights with a focus on the specific difficulties of participative and democratic discussion about a possible future united Ireland. Thus they invite scholarly papers addressing these topics across a range of cases, and from different theoretical perspectives. The participants will also organise a final practitioner panel reflecting on the international lessons for participatory democratic deliberation and discussion of potential constitutional change on the island of Ireland.

This conference will not charge a conference registration fee.

Learn more

09-04, 2024 11:00 AM
until 09-06, 2024 03:00 PM
Ingolstadt

Mitmacht 2024

Location: Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, Ostenstr. 26, 85072 Eichstätt

Uniting democratic forces from Germany, Austria and Switzerland and thinking big together: this is Mitmacht 2024 - the democracy festival by Faktor D. From 4 to 6 September, the growing network of German-speaking democracy actors will meet in Ingolstadt, Bavaria. That's what it's all about: Sharing knowledge and inspiration, making plans, strengthening connections - to tackle challenges in a cooperative and strategic way. Because when democratic forces stand together, a new power is created.

Learn more

09-04, 2024
05:00 PM - 06:30 PM

Online

Citizens' Assembly Network: Fighting the climate crisis with citizens' juries

Location: Zoom video conferencing platform,

The climate crisis affects everyone. The City of Vienna has therefore launched the Vienna Climate Team project. All residents in the city districts are called upon to contribute their climate protection ideas. Randomly selected citizen juries decide which project ideas will be realised in their districts. Condition: Each idea must have a positive impact on the climate and be able to be implemented by the City of Vienna within two years.

Thanks to this project and other participation formats, Vienna was selected by a citizens' jury as the European Democracy Capital 2024/25.

At the online meeting of the Citizens' Assembly Network on 4 September 2024, Tijana Matic, employee of the Vienna Climate Team, will report on the project as well as on the procedure and practice of the citizens' juries.

Interested parties are welcome!

The event will be recorded and the recording will be made available to network members afterwards.

Please register at info@buergerrat.de

Learn more: Citizens' Assembly Network

09-19, 2024 09:00 AM
until 09-20, 2024 04:00 PM
Vancouver (Canada)

Democracy R&D Annual Meeting 2024

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Location: Granville Island, Vancouver (Canada)

DRD2024 Vancouver is this year’s gathering of the fast-growing Democracy R&D network. It’s one of the best opportunities to meet, engage and learn from more than 200 democracy practitioners from around the world in a collaborative, stimulating, and collegial environment.

2024 also marks the 20th anniversary of British Columbia’s Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform making it a great time for the DRD network to come to North America and celebrate everything that has been achieved since this seminal event.

Like past DRD annual events, the program will feature a mix of plenary sessions, workshops and member-led sessions.

Some of our features and themes for DRD2024 include:

  • The CA Showcase: Assemblies from the past year and in the year ahead

  • Measuring impact: Democratic dividends and policy change

  • The next twenty years: anticipating the future of the deliberative wave

  • Ensuring healthy relationships to keep the movement strong

  • Practitioner learning exchange

  • Making the case: Convincing the politicians and policy-makers

  • Common resources for practitioners and advocates

  • Complementary or competitive: The evolving relationship between legislatures and assemblies

  • How practitioners and academics can learn from one another

  • New approaches and innovations in assembly design

  • Effective advocacy and assembly communications strategies

  • How AI and other tech-enhancements impact assemblies

  • Student and Youth assemblies: examples and opportunities

  • Aligned innovations: new ideas to support deliberative culture

  • Building the deliberative wave in the United States

  • Increasing inclusion and access

  • Multilingual assemblies: technologies and practices

A full program will be released later this spring.

Learn more

09-24, 2024
11:00 AM - 12:15 PM

Canberra (Australia) / Online

How can we build a global deliberative democracy?

Location: University Canberra, Bldg 24, University Drive South, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia

Nicole Curato (University of Canberra) in conversation with William Smith (Chinese University of Hong Kong)

More information will follow.

This event organised by the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance will take place at 11 am AEDT (1 am CEST).

Interested parties can also follow the event via the Zoom video conferencing platform.

An event in the series 10 big questions on deliberative democracy

09-26, 2024 12:00 PM
until 09-27, 2024 04:00 PM
Potsdam

Navigating Representation in Citizen Participation Formats: A Workshop on Inclusivity and Deliberative Objectives

Location: University of Potsdam, Griebnitzsee Campus, Am Neuen Palais 10, 14469 Potsdam

The chair for political theory at the University of Potsdam is hosting a workshop on "Navigating Representation in Citizen Participation Formats: Inclusivity and Deliberative Objectives" from September 26th to September 27th 2024.

Description:

Citizen participation formats, also known as 'democratic innovations,' are deemed crucial for promoting more inclusive and participatory decision-making processes. However, for many of these formats navigating different normative concerns presents a complex challenge. For example, it is understood that achieving general inclusivity does not necessarily result in true representativeness or that embracing a participatory approach does not automatically ensure adequate representation of marginalized or vulnerable groups.

Consequently, a central and extensively debated question in the literature pertains to determining what representation should mean in the context of citizen participation formats and who should be represented and why.

Additional significant debates revolve around how to adeptly strike a balance between representation and equity, how to address concerns related to epistemic injustice (both between participants and between participants and experts), and how to align the objectives of citizen participation formats.

1. Inclusivity and Equity in Democratic Innovations

  • The challenges and benefits of ensuring that diverse voices are heard in decision-making processes.
  • Discuss strategies to avoid the marginalization of vulnerable actors while maintaining a fair representation.
  • Discussing epistemic injustice in the light of representation approaches and objectives of citizen participation.
  • What other, different approaches exist to stakeholder engagement and their impact on the representation of various groups (e. g. Co-production)
  • Questions the role of technology, accessibility, and outreach in enhancing inclusivity.

2. Connection to Deliberative Objectives

  • How are representation approaches connected with the broader objectives of deliberation and democratic innovations?
  • Discuss the relationship between diverse representation and the quality of deliberative objectives, design and practices.
  • In how far can citizen participation formats help to overcome epistemic inequalities and lead to fairer and better outcomes?

3. Case Studies and Best Practices

  • Learn from real-world examples of democratic innovations successfully navigating representation challenges.
  • Identify best practices that contribute inclusive representation and desirable deliberation outcomes.

The organisers welcome abstracts on any of the above aspects and related themes. This workshop is a great opportunity to contribute to the ongoing dialogue on citizen participation and representation.

Limited funding for travel might be available depending on further funding.

Please send abstracts by 15.06.24 to janina.walkenhorst@uni-potsdam.de. The organisers will let you know by 23.06.2024 whether your paper has been accepted. If you have any questions or would like to get more details, please contact us at the above email address.

Call for papers

09-27, 2024 01:00 PM
until 09-29, 2024 04:00 PM
Bonn

Transformation needs participation. What new forms of participation and cooperation does a sustainable society need?

Location: Gustav Stresemann Institut, Langer Grabenweg 68, 53175 Bonn

Protecting our climate and our natural resources is one of the central tasks of our time. The necessary socio-ecological transformation processes will only succeed if they are negotiated democratically and supported and implemented by as many people as possible.

Beyond the "classic" instruments of citizen participation, forward-looking forms of involvement in decision-making and implementation processes must be developed and trialled. In the search for these cooperative approaches to action, it is becoming increasingly clear that "citizen participation" must be further developed and fundamentally rethought.

But how can these major social challenges be met in the face of various obstacles, difficulties, distortions and resistance? How can we handle the upcoming change processes democratically? In short, what new forms of participation and cooperation does a sustainable society need?

This year's Forum for Democracy and Civic Participation is dedicated to this question under the title "Transformation needs participation". The event organised by Stiftung Mitarbeit will take place in Bonn from 27 to 29 September 2024.

In order to further advance social and political activities towards a democratic organisation of the transformation processes, Stiftung Mitarbeit will establish the Climate Democracy Network as an associated network of the Citizen Participation Network at the conference.

More information will follow.

10-02, 2024
05:00 PM - 06:30 PM

Online

Citizens' Assembly Network: What we can learn from Athenian democracy today

Location: Zoom video conferencing platform,

In the years 508/07 to 322 BC, Athens was ruled by a direct democracy with a level of citizen participation that has never been equalled by any later democracy. Every citizen could take part in the People's Assembly and in judicial assemblies; every citizen was authorised to hold office. "Politics" was the business of the citizen in the polis.

Cleisthenes (570 - 506 BC) had reformed the entire social structure of Athens in 508/507 and thus laid the foundations for democracy in Athens. With a territorial reorganisation of Athens, he dissolved the old tribal associations, breaking up the power structures of the aristocratic families and creating a unified political citizenry that was no longer dependent on social origin.

Part of the idea of Athenian democracy was that every citizen was considered capable of holding office. The 700 or so office holders were in principle chosen by lot, their term of office was strictly limited and they were subject to complete control and accountability. Only a few prominent offices that required special knowledge were awarded by election.

All other offices were determined by lot, which was a symbol of civic equality because it neutralised social position, differences in wealth and different interests. Random selection prevented favouritism and other forms of preferential treatment in the process of appointing people to office.

Hermann Heußner, Professor of Public Law and Social Work Law at Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences, will provide information on the procedures and practice of Athenian democracy at this meeting of the Citizens' Assembly Network and discuss with participants what we can learn from it today.

The event will be recorded and the recording will be made available to network members afterwards.

Please register at info@buergerrat.de

Learn more: Citizens' Assembly Network

10-04, 2024 10:00 AM
until 10-06, 2024 04:00 PM
Athens (Greece)

Athens Democracy Forum: A moment of truth

Register

Location: Athens (Greece), Venue to follow

The Athens Democracy Forum will meet in the Greek capital from 1 to 3 October 2024 to advance concrete solutions and programmes. As in previous years, the event will open with a "State of Democracy" session, and the topics of the following days will be organised under three main themes: regional case studies, "rethinking" key issues, and practical and innovative new tools.

In addition, the 2nd annual Kofi Annan NextGen Prize (with the Kofi Annan Foundation) will be awarded to a young democracy advocate and the next candidates for the Democratic Innovators' Politicians' Hall of Fame (with the Apolitical Foundation) will be presented.

Here is a sample of the topics that will be debated in the main plenary:

  • State of Democracy: Assessing the Mega Election Year 
  • Rethinking Journalism: A Crisis of Confidence
  • Rethinking Climate Tech: Promise or Pipe Dream? 
  • Rethinking Faith: Vox Dei, Vox Populi
  • Rethinking Citizens: Who’s Listening?

Under the title "Rethinking citizens: Vox Populi, Vox Dei", the focus is on deliberative democracy. An old maxim states that the voice of the people is the voice of God. A growing number of initiatives seem to agree with this premise, from local citizens' committees in Chile or Australia to transnational citizens' assemblies in Europe and radical open source government models in Taiwan or Estonia. Is it really possible to combine deliberative processes and representative democracy? To what extent do the voices of citizens lead to meaningful results and lasting change? The people have spoken - but who is listening?

Learn more

10-08, 2024
06:00 PM - 07:15 PM

Online

What can deliberative democracy learn from social movements?

Location: Zoom video conferencing platform,

Nicole Doerr (University of Copenhagen) in conversation with Claire Mellier (ISWE Foundation).

More information will follow.

This event organised by the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance will take place at 6 pm AEDT (9 am CEST).

Interested parties can also follow the event via the Zoom video conferencing platform.

An event in the series 10 big questions on deliberative democracy

10-10, 2024 10:00 AM
until 10-12, 2024 04:00 PM
Bregenz (Austria)

Seminar: Dynamic Facilitation

Location: Narrativum - Bregenz, Färbergasse 1, 6900 Bregenz, Austria

Starting in Vorarlberg, the Dynamic Facilitation method has conquered the German-speaking world: in agile leadership, in participation and also in citizens' assemblies.

In this three-day seminar, you will learn how to successfully apply Dynamic Facilitation, a unique facilitation method, in various contexts. This ranges from the corporate sector to citizen participation, in particular the Citizens' Assembly and the Wisdom Council Process. But you will also celebrate breakthroughs in individual 1:1 coaching with Dynamic Facilitation.

The seminar offers the opportunity to learn from experienced Dynamic Facilitation instructors and to exchange ideas with other participants.

Learn more

10-22, 2024 09:00 AM
until 10-23, 2024 04:30 PM
Zurich (Switzerland)

Dynamic Facilitation - learn to use it with confidence

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Location: Ref. Kirchgemeindehaus Neumünster, Seefeldstr. 91, 8008 Zurich, Switzerland

Dynamic Facilitation (DF) is a facilitation method that supports small and medium-sized groups in arriving at solutions that are often unexpected, surprisingly creative or particularly sustainable and transformative for all participants. Even seemingly unsolvable problems or conflicts can lead to completely new solutions.

The Dynamic Facilitation facilitator achieves this by creating a space of unconditional safety and appreciation for each participant. By taking a deep interest in everything that wants to be expressed and listening with great focus, the facilitator inspires the whole group to listen attentively, enabling each speaker to explore deeper within themselves as they speak, thereby awakening the wealth of possibilities that lie hidden within the group.

Concerns, resistance and strong feelings, which are otherwise often perceived as disruptive in group processes, are valuable and welcome here. They often prove to be decisive impulses for a sustainable solution.

In addition to the attentive attitude of the facilitator, DF requires a simple and clear formal setting. This essentially consists of four flipcharts, under which all the participants' contributions are recorded. This makes the group's process comprehensible and turns it into a shared story and thus into a further source of insight and growth.

In this two-day seminar, participants learn the most important elements of Dynamic Facilitation, the Wisdom Council Process and Citizens' Assemblies. They will experience DF and its effects in an exemplary way, practise it themselves, exchange ideas and thus immerse themselves deeply in what makes DF so special, also in comparison to other methods.

Learn more

11-21, 2024 09:30 AM
until 12-23, 2024 04:00 PM
Düsseldorf

Seminar: Dynamic Facilitation

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Location: Forum Demokratie Düsseldorf, Himmelgeister Str. 107, 40225 Düsseldorf

Dynamic Facilitation (DF) is a facilitation method that supports small and medium-sized groups in arriving at solutions that are often unexpected, surprisingly creative or particularly sustainable and transformative for all participants. Even seemingly unsolvable problems or conflicts can lead to completely new solutions.

The Dynamic Facilitation facilitator achieves this by creating a space of unconditional safety and appreciation for each participant. By taking a deep interest in everything that wants to be expressed and listening with great focus, the facilitator inspires the whole group to listen attentively, enabling each speaker to explore deeper within themselves as they speak, thereby awakening the wealth of possibilities that lie hidden within the group.

Concerns, resistance and strong feelings, which are otherwise often perceived as disruptive in group processes, are valuable and welcome here. They often prove to be decisive impulses for a sustainable solution.

In addition to the attentive attitude of the facilitator, DF requires a simple and clear formal setting. This essentially consists of four flipcharts, under which all the participants' contributions are recorded. This makes the group's process comprehensible and turns it into a shared story and thus into a further source of insight and growth.

In this three-day seminar, participants learn the most important elements of Dynamic Facilitation, the Wisdom Council Process and Citizens' Assemblies. They will experience DF and its effects in an exemplary way, practise it themselves, exchange ideas and thus immerse themselves deeply in what makes DF so special, also in comparison to other methods.

Learn more

11-26, 2024
06:00 PM - 07:30 PM

Canberra (Australia) / Online

How deliberative is Australian democracy?

Location: University Canberra, Bldg 24, University Drive South, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia

A panel discussion with

  • Selen Ercan (University of Canberra)
  • Carolyn Hendriks (National University of Australia)
  • Adele Webb (University of Canberra)

Moderator: Ariadne Vromen (National University of Australia)

More information will follow.

This event organised by the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance will take place at 6 pm AEDT (9 am CEST).

Interested parties can also follow the event via the Zoom video conferencing platform.

An event in the series 10 big questions on deliberative democracy