Events

03.10.2022
15:00 Uhr

Online

Workshop: Governance Structures and Practices of Climate Assemblies

Location: Zoom video conferencing platform,

In this workshop of the Knowledge Network on Climate Assemblies (KNOCA) the participants will explore how climate assemblies are governed and share experiences and lessons learned about best practice. The legitimacy of deliberative mini-publics, such as climate assemblies, partly depends on the trust policymakers, stakeholders, and the wider public have in the decisions made about their design and implementation. The form and quality of governance structures is critical. 

The participants will discuss the applicability, strengths, and weaknesses of three overall models identified through interviews with key informants from the governance bodies of the first eight national level climate assemblies held to date.  

This workshop is aimed at practitioners and stakeholders directly involved or interested in climate assemblies and best practice. 

Register
03.10.2022
19:00 Uhr

Fürth

Democracy Salon: Spotlight Citizens' Assemblies: What? Why? What for?

Location: Zukunftssalon Tatütata, Hirschenstr. 33, 90762 Fürth

At all levels, the number of randomly selected citizens' assemblies is growing. Numerous citizens' initiatives are campaigning for their establishment where they do not yet exist.

In citizens' assemblies, participants develop recommendations for political action in a cooperative and consensus-oriented manner. This involves, for example, questions of climate protection, transport, housing, urban development, etc. Due to the random procedure, all people and population groups have an equal chance of being represented in the assembly. The procedure guarantees that all voices are heard and taken seriously.

On this evening, Jan Renner from "Mehr Demokratie" will report on the procedure and practice of sortition in the "Bluepingu" Democracy Salon.

04.10.2022
19:00 Uhr

Schwarzenbek

Citizens' assemblies & referenda - grassroots democracy

Location: City Hall, Ritter-Wulf-Platz 1, 21493 Schwarzenbek

"Voting is essential, but not enough. If we want to secure a safe present in the future on our planet, then we must be active democrats!" said Greta Thunberg on 24.09.2021 in front of the Bundestag.

Using the example of the referenda in Kuddewörde 2020 (Billebrücke) and Kasseburg 2021 (industrial estate of supra-local importance), Hans-Heinrich Starner (BUND) will present strategies as well as the active measures of the local citizens' initiatives and BUND, which were the basis for the successes with the referenda.

Before that, Claudine Nierth, the federal board spokesperson of Mehr Demokratie, will present her association for direct democracy, citizens' assemblies and other participation, transparency and fair electoral law.

05.10.2022
15:00 Uhr

Online

Participatory/Deliberative Authoritarianism?

Location: Zoom video conferencing platform,

The ideas and institutions established to increase citizens’ deliberation and participation in public matters have usually been associated with democratic settings. However, not only do authoritarian regimes also develop strategies of legitimation through citizen engagement, but they are also increasingly disputing the meaning of ‘real democracy’. This webinar will focus on the development of participatory and deliberative institutions in authoritarian countries to explore approaches and outcome

  • María Isabel Puerta Riera: Adjunct professor at Valencia College and an associate researcher at GAPAC. Her research focuses on democratic backsliding and authoritarianism in Latin America, in particular, Venezuela’s transition to participatory democracy and its current institutional crisis. 
  • Su Yun Woo: Postdoctoral researcher at the University of Zurich and an advisor at the Social Equity and Participation Center in Chengdu. Her research focuses on the use of public deliberation in China and the emergence of democratic innovations in authoritarian settings.

Chair: Yanina Welp, Research Fellow at the Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy

Register
05.10.2022
19:00 Uhr

Eupen (Belgium)

G1000 Autumn School on Deliberative Democracy

Location: Kloster Heidberg, Bahnhofstr. 4, 4700 Eupen, Belgium

No need to draw a picture, democracy is under great pressure. Society is polarised, misinformation is increasing, voters are losing interest in politics - voting out of spite or tempted by totalitarianism. Their trust in politicians is at an all-time low. And vice versa.

However, hope arises when Ursula von der Leyen announces that she wants to organise citizens' panels in Europe; when the President of the Bundestag promises a first citizens' panel at federal level in Germany. Every week, new deliberative processes are initiated in Europe, in Paris, in Rotterdam, etc. Even the tiny Sardinian village of Bulzi will co-create its future in the first ever citizens' assembly in Italy.

Are you also looking for new ways to involve citizens in political decision-making? Do you consider that inclusion is a key factor for better policy-making? Are you considering setting up a deliberative process in your country, region, community or in your professional organisation? Then you’ve come to the right place.

Read more: G1000 Autumn School on Deliberative Democracy

Register
07.10.2022
08:00 Uhr

Potsdam

Forum Transformative Citizens' Assemblies

Location: Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies - IASS, Berliner Str. 130, 14467 Potsdam

The new federal government in Germany has decided to introduce citizens' assemblies as a new participation format. The first lighthouse projects have shown that citizens' assemblies can strengthen democracy and support politics on difficult issues.

At the same time, citizens' assemblies carry the risk of generating frustration on the part of politicians and/or citizens if they do not deliver what they promise. This can happen, for example, if the resulting recommendations seem very vague and thus incompatible with the regular legislative process. There is also a risk that stakeholders and the broader population may not feel taken seriously if no adequate way is found to deal with the recommendations of the citizens' assemblies.

For this reason, Klimamitbestimmung, the IASS Potsdam, Mehr Demokratie and the IDPF Wuppertal are offering a forum for a targeted exchange between experts from science and civil society and representatives from politics and administration. Based on previous experiences with citizens' assemblies as well as knowledge about current political processes, answers are to be found together and thus citizens' assemblies and all those involved are to be helped to succeed.

Register
11.10.2022
18:00 Uhr

Online

The deliberative Café

Location: Zoom video conferencing platform,

A Deliberative Cafe is an easy to organise format of a citizens’ assembly at the city level. It is based on a preset size, rulebook, timeline and agenda. It is suitable for specific topics that can be presented during one day of a learning phase. Due to its simplicity it can be coordinated by even one person.

A Deliberative Cafe does not require a commitment to treat the results as binding. Its aim is to provide insights from citizens for better decision-making. The key element of the Deliberative Cafe is the formula for the learning phase that includes prolonged time for a discussion with experts and stakeholders in small groups (besides plenary presentations).

The Deliberative Cafe is especially useful for cities that would like to try out a deliberative process for the first time, or they have a concrete topic with regards to which they are looking for an input from citizens.

The concept of the Deliberative Café is presented by Marcin Gerwin, Center for Blue Democracy

Register
12.10.2022
12:00 Uhr

Tartu (Estonia)

Autumn School on Deliberative Democracy

Location: The Tartu Nature House, Lille 10, 51010 Tartu, Estonia

The Federation for Innovation in Democracy and Rohetiiger are organising an Autumn School on Deliberative Democracy in Tartu, Estonia, from the 12 to the 14 of October. The Autumn School, which targets civil servants and politicians coming from Eastern European countries, will:

  • offer specialised training in deliberative methods applied to different geographical contexts.
  • promote a critical approach to the aims of deliberative democracy, deepening the understanding of the method to strengthen our democratic systems.
  • provide the necessary tools to draft a deliberative process adapted to the political context of each participant.
  • encourage the development of a network of practitioners, politicians, and civil servants across Europe knowledgeable on deliberation.

Read more: Autumn School on Deliberative Democracy

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12.10.2022
16:00 Uhr

Online

Decolonizing Deliberative Democracy

Location: Zoom video conferencing platform,

Deliberative democracy advances an emancipatory project of inclusion, equality, and freedom. Yet these ideals have been produced in a particular economic and cultural context. Emerging out of the humanist Enlightenment tradition and inspired by linguistic and critical theories, deliberative democracy is deeply rooted in Western academia. This also means that despite its emancipatory impetus, it emerged in a context marked by colonial thinking. If deliberative democracy is to unfold its full democratic potential, it needs to face the colonial traces it may carry within it.

Speakers

  • Irma Alicia Velásquez Nimatuj: Visiting Professor at Stanford University, Maya-K’iche’ academic, journalist, poet, and indigenous right activist
  • Melisa Ross: Melisa Ross is a PhD candidate at Humboldt University. 

Chair: Edana Beauvais (APSA)

Register
14.10.2022
18:00 Uhr

Online

Network meeting of local citizens' assembly initiatives

Location: Zoom video conferencing platform,

Citizens' assemblies do not have to stand alone. As a closed format, they can be combined with open participation formats. Popular initiatives to convene citizens' assemblies can be a combination with direct democracy, as can voting on citizens' assembly recommendations in a referendum. Or citizens' assemblies are set up before referendums in order to formulate neutral voting information for those entitled to vote.

So the main topic of the next network meeting of local citizens' assembly initiatives in Germany will be: Combining citizens' assemblies with other formats of citizen participation and direct democracy

Participants of the online meeting will learn more about this from

Please send registrations to info@buergerrat.de

Overview: Local Citizens' Assemblies and Citizens' Assembly-Initiatives in Germany

19.10.2022
15:00 Uhr

Online

Planetary challenges, Western responses? Deliberating the climate transition with(out) affected communities

Location: Zoom video conferencing platform,

Climate assemblies have been increasingly implemented to collectively design policy responses to the ecological crisis. Yet, Western scholars and actors within the deliberative turn have largely overlooked the complexities of deliberative and participatory mechanisms in the territories most affected by both climate change and the green transition. Can Western-centered deliberative mechanisms address the need for decarbonization without further entrenching the current global racial order? How can dominant practices respond to the demands of autonomous forms of deliberation and resistance? 

Speakers

Chair: Azucena Morán (ECPR)

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19.10.2022
19:00 Uhr

Online

Can AI bring Deliberation to the Masses?

Location: Zoom video conferencing platform,

One unsolved problem in democratic theory is how we can reconcile the twin goals of quality deliberation and mass participation. Both are arguably conditions for the full legitimacy of a democratic system.

Quality deliberation, as a process through which laws and policies are generated, in theory promises good governance (output-legitimacy) as well as, at the very least, good reasons for the laws and policies put forward. Mass participation, by contrast, is a condition for the democratic input-legitimacy of the system, namely its capacity to take into account people’s needs and preferences.

Unfortunately, thus far, it has proven impossible to reconcile those two goals as the quality of deliberation diminishes past a relatively low threshold of participants (a few hundreds, perhaps a few thousand people) and mass participation, on the other hand, is not conducive to the thoughtful, informed exchanges smaller numbers afford.

In this presentation political scientist Hélène Landemore explores the ways in which Artificial Intelligence may help bridge that gap, at least up to a point.

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20.10.2022
10:00 Uhr

Online

4th Citizen Engagement and Deliberative Democracy Festival

Location: Online,

This year, the theme of the Citizen Engagement and Deliberative Democracy Festival is ‘youth’ to coincide with the European Year of Youth.

2022 is a year in which we find ourselves looking to a future beyond the pandemic, and this year the Commission is looking to young people for the vision, engagement and participation to build a better future, that is greener, more inclusive and digital. With this proposal, Europe is striving to give young people more and better opportunities for the future.

At the same time, the Conference of the Future of Europe concluded in May 2022 and thus we are looking to interpret and discuss the lessons learnt from the Conference with a vision towards the future of participatory and deliberative democracy in Europe, with a focus on how the Conference can inform and inspire further initiatives.

Read more: 4th Citizen Engagement and Deliberative Democracy Festival

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20.10.2022
11:30 Uhr

Online

The impact of deliberative democracy on youth

Location: Zoom video conferencing platform,

This year, the theme of the Citizen Engagement and Deliberative Democracy Festival is ‘youth’ to coincide with the European Year of Youth.

As part of this festival, the democracy organisation "Décider ensemble" is giving three young people the opportunity to speak about their experiences with citizens' assemblies:

Moderator: Sarah Grau, co-director of Décider ensemble

Register
21.10.2022
18:00 Uhr

Mosbach

Seminar: Participation, Public Sphere and Social Democracy

Location: ver.di education centre, Am Wasserturm 1-3, 74821 Mosbach

A democracy does not only consist of elections. Its power can only unfold if citizens see themselves as responsible and responsible members of a society and get involved.

But democracy seems to be in crisis. People complain about the lack of transparency in politics and increasingly get the impression that they have no influence on political decisions. What is the reason for this and how can it be counteracted?

Some people associate democracy with the assertion of their own interests, others with the joint discussion and cooperative solution of problems. A difference that is also expressed in the concepts of liberal versus deliberative democracy.

What is the current situation regarding these preconditions for social democracies? The seminar Participation, Public Sphere and Social Democracy from 21 - 23 October 2022 asks and clarifies the central questions and addresses forms of participation to strengthen democracy.

Register
24.10.2022
12:30 Uhr

Rennes (France)

6th European Conference on Participation: citizen participation - for everyone and everything?

Location: Couvent des Jacobins, 20 Pl. Sainte-Anne, 35000 Rennes, France

From 24 - 26 October 2022, the 6th European Conference on Participation will take place in Rennes, France. The topics:

  • Citizen participation, and then? Assessing and measuring impact
  • How can awareness of environmental change be improved and how can climate action be accelerated through citizen participation?
  • Rural areas, small towns, inter-municipal cooperation, Europe... is citizen participation possible everywhere?
  • Tomorrow's democracy: What changes in democracy can be expected and accompanied after the 2022 elections in France?

A workshop will focus on innovative innovations in the design of citizens' assembly procedures.

Read more: 6th European Conference on Participation: citizen participation - for everyone and everything?

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25.10.2022
17:00 Uhr

Online

Next level citizen participation in the EU: Institutionalising European Citizens’ Assemblies

Location: Zoom video conferencing platform,

The European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced that citizens’ assemblies will become a regular feature of the EU democratic life. Now the European institutions needs to make important choices regarding their format, scope and functions in the EU policy-making process. How could such institutionalization in the EU context look like? How could citizens’ assemblies be organized, function and deliver to advance citizen participation in the EU? 

The citizen participation team of the Bertelsmann Foundation invites you to the presentation and discussion of the model for institutionalization of European Citizens’ Assemblies jointly elaborated with leading academics in EU democracy

Discuss with: Prof. Dr. Gabriele Abels (University of Tübingen), Dr. Alberto Alemanno (HEC Paris), Prof. Dr. Ben Crum (Vrije Universität), Prof. Dr. Alexander Trechsel (University of Luzern), Dr. Dominik Hierlemann, Anna Renkamp, Dr. Andrey Demidov (all Bertelsmann Foundation). 

Information & contact: Participation-EU@bertelsmann-stiftung.de

26.10.2022
17:00 Uhr

Stolberg

More citizen participation through sortition? Shaping politics with randomly selected citizens' assemblies

Location: VHS Stolberg, Frankentalstr. 3, 52222 Stolberg

Everyone is talking about randomly selected citizens' assemblies. Their promise: they represent a cross-section of the population and thus also bring those voices into the political debate that are otherwise often ignored. Seven citizens' assemblies have already been held nationwide. These mini publics meet for a limited period of time and then develop recommendations on a specific topic, which they then present to politicians.

In NRW, too, more and more municipalities are waiting in the wings to try out the sortition procedure, such as Aachen, Gütersloh, Cologne, Düsseldorf and Haltern. The lecture will present the format of the sortition-based citizens' assembly, its strengths and weaknesses, as well as current practice.

A subsequent lively discussion in this event of the VHS Stolberg is expressly desired.

Speaker: Achim Wölfel, Regional Director of Mehr Demokratie NRW

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27.10.2022
11:00 Uhr

Online

Non-Human De/Liberation

Location: Zoom video conferencing platform,

This session will inquire how non-human animals can participate in democracy. As humans increasingly share living space with nonhuman animals often displacing them from their lands, finding new ways of establishing inter-species dialogue becomes ever more pressing. How do animals communicate? Which democratic animal practices can humans learn from? And how can humans enter into deliberation with animals?

Speakers

  • Eva Meijer: Artist, writer, philosopher and singer-songwriter. Her work focuses on interspecies democracy and nonhuman animal languages, and has been translated into over 20 languages. 
  • Lucy Parry: Senior Research Associate at the University of Canberra. Her research focuses on deliberative democracy, democratic innovations, and animal ethics. 

Chair: Hans Asenbaum (PSA)

Register
28.10.2022
19:00 Uhr

Speyer

Citizens' assemblies - powerhouses of democracy

Location: Villa Ecarius, Vortragssaal, Bahnhofstr. 54, 67346 Speyer

Everyone wants to try them out, whether citizens, governments or parliaments. Randomly selected citizens' bring a breath of fresh air into politics. How do they work, what makes them so special and what are their limits?

Lecture and discussion with Claudine Nierth, spokesperson for the federal board of Mehr Demokratie.

29.10.2022
09:00 Uhr

Speyer

Workshop: Doing is like wanting, only more blatant!

Location: Villa Ecarius, Bahnhofstr. 54, 67346 Speyer

Claudine Nierth is one of the leading experts on civic engagement. She is significantly involved in the development and implementation of citizens' assemblies on behalf of the German Bundestag and has a wealth of experience in this field through her consultancy work throughout Germany.

In an interactive day workshop organised by inSPEYERed e.V. in cooperation with the vhs, she will work with participants to find answers to the question: How do you inspire people to get involved in the things they care about? The focus will not only be on the theoretical background, but above all on practical implementation.

If the workshop cannot take place in person due to COVID-19 regulations, it will be held online.

Register
07.11.2022
09:30 Uhr

Strasbourg (France)

World Forum for Democracy

Location: Council of Europe, Av. de l'Europe, 67000 Strasbourg, France

Thirty years ago, many people believed that the spread of democracy was as inevitable as it was desirable. Those days are now far behind us. Instead, the public and policy-makers have watched as the spread of democracy has slowed and, by some measures, gone into reverse.

Those who believe that democracy is the best way to govern - and those who do not - know that democracy is in distress. Many wonder if it will survive. Others are determined that democratic decline is neither inevitable nor irreversible.

The 10th World Forum for Democracy intends to get to the heart of what has gone wrong. It will look for the key contributing factors to democratic decline, consider how these might be addressed, and explore what kind of democratic future is desirable, and possible, in the interests of people across the world.

Mehr Informationen: World Forum for Democracy: Democracy: A new hope?

08.11.2022
11:00 Uhr

Online

Open.NRW Coffee Lecture: What citizens' assemblies can do and how they work 

Location: Online,

Parliamentary democracy is in crisis: how can elected representatives still make generally binding decisions in an increasingly individual and diverse society? The format of the citizens' assembly, which has already been tried and tested many times at European, federal, state and municipal level, can make a contribution to strengthening democracy. Randomly selected citizens work on an issue in a fact-based and moderated process and develop recommendations for policy.

In the Open.NRW series "Coffee Lecture", Thorsten Sterk from Mehr Demokratie NRW, who knows many citizens' assemblies at all levels from his own experience and work, will report on what such mini publics can achieve in our democracy, how they function and what needs to be considered.

The lecture will be recorded. Please register for the virtual event. The number of participants is limited to 30.

Register
10.11.2022
08:00 Uhr

Kingersheim (France)

Citizens' assemblies as forms of participation for democratic and ecological transit

Location: Kingersheim (France),

Public administration will have to undergo a major transformation in the coming years if it is to come anywhere close to meeting the major challenges facing our society (and all of humanity). An essential part of this will be a readjustment of the relationship between the state (politics, administration) on the one hand and society (citizens, businesses, civil society) on the other.

The French town of Kingersheim works with randomly selected citizens' juries for this purpose. Unlike sortition procedures in many other places, however, Kingersheim has its own special procedural design. The blog "Agile Administration" invites you to a study tour to Kingersheim on 10 November 2022. Mayor Laurent Riche will welcome the participants and accompany them on their information trip throughout the day.

Read more: Citizens' assemblies as forms of participation for democratic and ecological transit

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12.11.2022
10:00 Uhr

Online

Society shapers - active together at the local level with citizen participation

Location: Zoom video conferencing platform,

Baden-Württemberg is considered a pioneer federal state in the use of sortition. This free seminar of the Heinrich Böll Foundation offers an overview of the state of this and other forms of citizen participation in Baden-Württemberg.

  • What are the experiences and recommendations at the state level?
  • What opportunities for participation exist at the municipal level?

You will learn how you can become active together with citizen participation locally and where you can find support and resources. Based on thematic inputs, discussion rounds, active small group work and reports from practice, the seminar contents will be developed together.

Speakers:

  • Andrea Schätzle and Lisa Weis, Alliance for Participation e.V.
  • Fabian Reidinger, Ministry of State Baden-Württemberg
Register
17.11.2022
10:00 Uhr

Luxembourg

Conference: Reinforcing Democracy and Building Trust

Location: Luxembourg, (Place will follow)

This event will allow participants to collectively explore an action-oriented agenda to rebuild trust in public institutions and discuss the key public governance challenges to democracy. Building on the work under the OECD’s Reinforcing Democracy Initiative, discussions will focus on how to:

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  • Combat mis- and dis-information
  • Improve representation, participation, and openness in public life
  • Transform public governance for digital democracy
  • Gear up government to deliver on climate and other environmental challenges
  • Embrace the global responsibilities of government and build resilience to foreign influence

Discussions will be underpinned by the results of the first OECD Survey on the Drivers of Trust in Public Institutions.

Read more: Reinforcing Democracy and Building Trust 

22.11.2022
10:00 Uhr

Online

D3 #Deutschland #Digital #Demokratisch - Online Conference on Digital Democracy

Location: Zoom video conferencing platform,

The digital transformation is changing everything. Democracy is no exception.

Discuss all aspects of digital democratic participation online with more than 100 experts and over 600 participants over two days. Randomly selected citizens' assemblies are also a topic.

Find the topics that interest you and put together your own individual conference programme.

Participation in the online congress is free of charge.

Read more: D3 #Deutschland #Digital #Demokratisch

Register
07.12.2022
10:00 Uhr

Grenoble (France)

21st IOPD Conference: Taking Action

Location: Grenoble (France),

The International Observatory on Participatory Democracy (IOPD) is an exchange network of over 1000 cities around the world in which civil society organizations and research centers are associated to develop, implement and disseminate experiences on participatory democracy at the local level in order to deepen democracy in the government of cities.

The 21st IOPD Conference, themed "Taking action", offers an extensive programme on citizen participation, but also explorations, workshops, meetings, debates and shows...

Read more: 21st IOPD Conference: Taking action

16.03.2023
19:00 Uhr

Rheda-Wiedenbrück

Shaping the city by lot

Location: VHS-Town House, Luise Hensel Hall, Kirchplatz 2, 33378 Rheda-Wiedenbrück

Randomly selected citizens' assemblies are on everyone's lips. Their promise: they represent a cross-section of the population and thus also bring those voices into the political debate that are otherwise willingly ignored. In Germany seven citizens' assemblies have already been held at the federal level. These assemblies meet for a limited period of time and then draw up recommendations on a specific topic, which they then present to politicians.

In North Rhine-Westphalia, too, there is already experience with sortition procedures, for example in Bonn, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Coesfeld, Erkelenz, Gütersloh and Jülich. Citizens' assemblies have also been a topic in the Rheda-Wiedenbrück city council.

The lecture by sortition expert Thorsten Sterk from Mehr Demokratie will present the format of the citizens' assembly, its strengths and weaknesses as well as current practice. A subsequent lively discussion at this event of the VHS Reckenberg-Ems is expressly desired.