Doing democracy better
“We need to make our democracies more inclusive. This requires bold and innovative reforms, such as selecting parliaments by lot instead of election, in the way many jury systems work. This would prevent the formation of self-serving and self-perpetuating political classes.”
Kofi Annan (1938-2018)
G1000 is a platform for democratic innovation. We develop, support and promote new forms of deliberation that reinforce democracy from local to international level. We believe democracy should give more space to regular citizens.

Our principles

  • We are independent and do not take positions on policies, except the necessity to renew democracy;
  • we propose solutions that are complementary to existing political procedures (elections, petitions, referenda);
  • we consider citizens ‘as a resource, not a threat’;
  • we use random selection to give everybody equal opportunity to participate;
  • we use deliberation to provide enough time and information for people to take responsible decisions.
When Regular Citizens Have The Mandate, Time And Information To Decide On Complex Issues, They Overcome Their Differences And Develop Sensible Solutions

Why?

Contemporary democracy has several limitations including short-term thinking, permanent election-style campaigning and policy failures. This can be drastically reduced by using deliberative democracy. This brings together a representative cross-section of society to let citizens learn, deliberate and draft policy recommendations. Their proposals are often stronger, cheaper and identified more quickly than what is the norm today.

Current elected politicians often do not reflect the population, similarly, during traditional participatory events, we see the same type of citizen appear. People with lower educational attainment, minorities and young people participate less. If citizens are carefully selected by random selection, you get a much better reflection of your population. You will for example for the first time always have a parity by gender in the room. This strengthens the representative quality of our democracy.

The quality of democratic deliberation also increases strongly via deliberative democracy. Politics often resembles a battle between two groups, one of which is the “winner”. The ’winning’ group drafts policy ‘against’ the losing minority, which leads to unnecessary polarisation. Regular citizens do not need to be re-elected and did not make public promises, they are therefore typically much more open to information from different sides on a topic. This means they can look as a group for solutions that have the largest amount of support, giving their recommendations significant legitimacy. 

Deliberative democracy has been proven in individual cases over the past twenty years, it is time to put it more broadly into practice. If these processes are legally enshrined in our political system, we will have a better way to come to policy decisions and strengthen our democracy.

What we do

Showcase: German speaking region of Belgium

The smallest region of Belgium will become a true laboratory of democratic innovation in Europe. As of 2019 it will become the first place in Europe with a system whereby a permanent representation of citizens’ drawn randomly is organized next to the existing parliament. The G1000 organisation designed this model, brought international and local experts together in the capital Eupen and will consult to support the implementation of the process. We call this the "Ostbelgien Model".

Summer schools

The ‘Ostbelgien Model’ is groundbreaking, to share it we will annually bring together inspired mayors, members of parliament and scientists to learn from the experiment in German speaking Belgium. We will also bring examples from other cities and territories, in Europe and beyond, that have been using deliberative processes. Thus we do capacity building and foster an international network of politicians that want to make a difference.

The first summer school will take place in September 2019, more information can be found here: www.fgf.be/summerschool.

Advocacy

The G1000 works to share its knowhow on new democratic models with others, we engage with governments and elected leaders to share information and inspiration. As an international actor in field of democratic innovation, we know that deliberative democracy is a way to enhance the existing systems. We help leaders to lead.

Local consultancy

We provide advice and help to cities and localities that are ready to implement deliberative processes. The G1000 is a not a commercial organization, nor are we affiliated with any commercial organisations. We deliver independent, trustworthy and free advice to politicians, tailor-made for their communities.

Policy briefs

Through our international contacts we are immediately up-to-date with the newest developments globally. Is Madrid putting in place a permanent citizen council? Is Ireland appointing a Citizens’ Assembly to revise the Constitution? Is an Australian region drawing citizens by lot to discuss the disposal of nuclear waste? As of the Spring of 2019 we will bring concise, factual and methodological briefs on these developments, practical for politicians, journalists and activists.

Campaigning

Striving for a better democracy will only be successful if it has sufficient public support. Hence the G1000 not only talks with governments and politicians, it also directs itself towards the general public with media-appearances, opinion pieces, conferences and so on.

Our assets

  • Large expertise in the subject matter from our own activities and deliberative processes on city, provincial and regional level. We have a good grasp on what works and what does not.
  • World-wide network of similar organisations. As one of the founding members of Democracy R&D, the global consortium for democratic innovation, we know what is going on internationally.
  • Scientific research. Our team has several leading researchers connected to different Belgian universities.
  • Large experience with media, be it audio-visual, online or print. This allows us to communicate our enthusiasm and our information to a larger audience.
  • Financial autonomy. The G1000 does not sell its methods or solutions, but offers them for free. Because our advice is without a personal benefit, governments perceive us as a trustworthy partner in their projects. The G1000 is financially supported by gifts from philanthropists and donors to the Foundation for Future Generations as well as by the German-speaking Community of Belgium and the OSIFE foundation.
  • Solid anchoring in a foundation. Since the very beginning, the G1000 has been adopted by the Foundation for Future Generations, a reliable partner that has been striving for sustainability and deliberative democracy for over twenty years. The foundation provides the G1000 a solid legal, administrative, financial and fiscal basis.

Structure

Management Committee

  • Dr. Yves Dejaeghere
  • Benoit Derenne
  • Cato Léonard
  • Prof. Min Reuchamps
  • Christoph Niessen
  • Dr. David Van Reybrouck

Operational Team

Coordinator: Yves Dejaeghere, PhD.

  • Operational lead
  • First contact for policymakers and organizations
  • Coordination of projects with policymakers
  • Research and knowledge sharing

Contact

Yves Dejaeghere
G1000 Project manager
Foundation for Future Generations

+32 472 42 00 71
y.dejaeghere@stg.be
www.g1000.orgwww.stg.be

Call for donations

The G1000 is a citizens’ initiative and a citizens’ financing helps it keep its independence.

IBAN BE44 5230 8123 4545
BIC TRIO BE BB

Donations as of 40 € in Belgium are tax deductible. Please mention “Gift to G1000 - FGF”