Public Participation

When is participation important, what can it do and how can substantial results be achieved? 
Voting in which a simple majority wins, reaches its limits. Today's challenges are complex and stakeholders have experiential knowledge that complements expert knowledge and is critical regarding implementation. Below you will find examples and tools.

Inquiry / Consulting

Wise Democracy Pattern Language

Tom Atlee, Co-Intelligence Institute, and I have developed a  collection of 96 patterns we describe as… “features or design principles that we believe would show up repeatedly in a democracy characterized by collective wisdom, as manifested in collective decisions and behaviors that generate long term broad benefits and healthy living systems, both human and natural."

Website
Inquiry / Consulting

Citizen Council
Vorarlberg Model


This 9-minute video introduces the evolution (0.00-2.30) of the Citizen Council and the context it evolved in. Manfred Hellrigl PhD, former director and his team of the Office for Future Related Issues in Vorarlberg, Austria’s most western state, pioneered the field of participation and social capital. The Citizen Council (german Bürgerrat) is based on the Wisdom Council and Creative Insight Council designed by Jim Rough in the US. The middle part (2.30-4.00) highlights the Citizen Council process design which has been improved over more than a decade in and for the state of Vorarlberg and its communities. In the final third part (4.00-9.30) practitioners and researchers from Austria and Germany share their insights why the Citizen Council made its mark in the field of participation.

Filmproduction: Martin Rausch und Markus Goetsch
Website
Inquiry / Consulting

Citizen Council or
Citizen Assembly

This short video describes a few differences between Citizen Councils (CC) and Citizen Assemblies (CA) and offers some advice when choosing between the two. While you could consider the Citizen Council as the agile and inexpensive form of public participation both CC and CA have their place in different contexts. We also know that there are cross pollinations. Some Citizen Assemblies are considering to use Dynamic Facilitation for enhancing the quality and creativity of the table conversatons. On a national level some institutions wanting to use the Citizen Council model are multiplying the amount of councils (e.g. 6-8 councils for one topic) to meet the standard of representation.

Website
Inquiry / Consultation

Polis
Online Participation


After Minute 2.00 BBC reporter shares a story about how this online tool Polis is being used in Taiwan and by Audrey Tang, Digital Minister.

Andy Paice (London) and I use Polis as part of Citizen Assemblies or Citizen Councils.

Inquiry / Consulting

Citizen Council
Environmental Program 2030
organized by the Ministry for the Environment
in Germany


The german Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMUB) developed The Integrated Environmental Plan 2030 (IUP). The key challenge was to design policies that promote an ecologically viable and substainable future. For this process they involved the public by organizing 6 Civic Councils/Citizen Councils (Bürgerräte) and 6 public evening events called Civic Enviromental Forums in which the Civic Councils presented their findings which were further elaborated with a larger group of people. The results are summoned in the report titled "The Integrated Environmental Plan 2030". This film covers the overall process including the Online Council and the Online Environmental Forums.

Filmproduction: Martin Rausch
Further Information

Dynamic Facilitation

Jim Rough, creator of Dynamic Facilitation, Tom Atlee, Co-Intelligence Institue, Ned Crosby, creator of Citizen Juries, explain how Dyanmic Facilitation and the Wisdom Council Process work. Dynamic Facilitation is considered the „magic sauce“ or the agile facilitation method because of its efficiency to draw out the emotions and the creativity of its participants.

For training or facilitation services