Nowadays we see increasing attention for the usefulness and necessity of ‘citizens’ assemblies’. Especially at a time when large decisions about themes and future scenarios have to be taken that affects us all. Citizens’ assemblies can be a valuable addition to the democratic system. They ensure that participants actively think about their own environment, which can lead to better and more broadly supported solutions for major social issues.
Several parallels can be drawn between the background, philosophy and goals of G1000 and those of Perspectivity. During our biennial retreat, we therefore spoke extensively with Harm van Dijk and Mirjam de Pagter, driving forces of Platform G1000.nu.
What do you find important for your … (neighbourhood, village, city, country)?
A G1000 citizens’ assembly offers citizens the space and opportunity to collectively decide what they find important for their neighbourhood, city or country, using random selection and dialogue. In this way, G1000 wants to build a bridge between the living environment of the citizens and the system world of the government.
We spoke with Harm and Mirjam about the philosophy behind the citizens’ assemblies and also about the practical and organisational implications. How do you ensure that not only the usual suspects are engaged in the citizens’ assembly? What is the role of politicians and civil servants? And of experts? When do you have ‘the whole system in the room’? And what happens with the plans and ideas who are in the end not included in the ‘Citizens’ Decision’?
It was educational and inspiring for us to exchange thoughts with Harm and Mirjam, to hear more about the lessons they have learned and to discover that we do our work driven by similar motives. In the coming period, we will investigate whether forms of cooperation are possible.
- Check the website g1000.nu, where amongst other you can download the G1000 Handbook.