Professor Graham Smith from Westminster University was part of a number of academics who designed and ran the Democracy Matters project in 2015. This project involved two Citizens' Assemblies both considering devolution of local decision-making.
In addition to being demonstration projects around engaging everyday citizens in decision-making about local governance these two process involved slightly different designs to allow the academics involved to test the impact of having elected representatives as part of the Citizens' Assembly.
Graham explains the background to these two Citizens' Assemblies as well as the preliminary findings about the impact of having politicians as members of the Citizens' Assembly South.
For more information about the Democracy Matters project visit http://citizensassembly.co.uk/home-page/about/
The newDemocracy Foundation is a is an independent, non-partisan research organisation here is Australia that aims to identify improvements to our democratic process with a focus on promoting deliberative mini-publics as a key democratic reform.
Iain Walker is the Executive Director of the newDemocracy Foundation and has designed and managed over twenty deliberative mini-publics for local and State Governments in Australia.
Iain explains the approach newDemocracy Foundation takes to the design of deliberative mini-publics generally and also sets out the example of the Melbourne People's Panel a 43 person deliberative mini-public, involving both residents and businesses, which advised the City of Melbourne Council on their 10-year budget.
The newDemocracy Foundation makes all of their deliberative mini-public designs public on their website and recently designed and managed one of the largest citizens' juries in Australia, the South Australian Nuclear Citizens' Jury.
Peter MacLeod is the CEO and Founder of MASS LBP, a Canadian consultancy focused on democratic innovation and public strategy.
Since 2007, MASS has led some of the country's most original and ambitious efforts to engage citizens in tackling tough policy choices while pioneering the use of Civic Lotteries and Reference Panels on behalf of forward-thinking governments.
MASS LBP has conducted twenty-five major reference panels, citizens assemblies and commissions for government involving more than 1000 Canadians and reaching 250,000 households. Cumulatively, this represents some 30,000 hours of deliberation on significant public issues, making MASS an internationally-recognized and unparalleled leader in the design and delivery of deliberative processes for government.
Peter lays out how MASS approach the design of the reference panels they conduct including how they explain the purpose of these processes, how the invitations are designed and the size of the groups.
He also takes us through a couple of processes they have conducted from the Residents’ Panel to Review the Condominium Act a multi-year process to update this piece of legislation to a hyper-local issue with Grandview-Woodland Community Plan Citizens’ Assembly.
And in case you were wondering LBP stands for Lead By People.