Are you looking for new ways to involve citizens in the community you’re responsible for ?
Are you thrilled to learn about cutting-edge methods of public deliberation ?

Then join us in Eupen, the capital of German-speaking Belgium, that has become the first region in the world with a citizens’ senate drafted by lot.

Every year, the G1000 Summer School brings together a number of world-leading experts in the field of deliberative democracy and sortition to assist you in developing a project apt for your city or region.

Last year 55 participants came from 11 countries to Eupen for the Summer School (read some testimonials).

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What is the G1000 ?

G1000 is a non-profit platform for democratic innovation. Our team develops, supports and promotes new forms of deliberations with random selection of citizens that reinforce democracy, from local to international level. It has amongst others organized the G1000 event in Belgium, a deliberative process that involved several hundreds of citizens.

Other projects included the design of the so-called “Ostbelgien Model” that is has been installed in the German-speaking region of Belgium to involve citizens in a structural way in the work of the regional parliament. More on www.g1000.org.

 

What is the aim of the G1000 Summer School?

The main goal of the G1000 Summer School is to assist politicians and/or civil servants in designing a model for institutionalized use of deliberative democracy and sortition in their own community.

During the summer school a draft is made of how this could take shape given the characteristics (political and sociological) of that community.

The examples we will discuss will also provide some good arguments and incentives for politicians to consider using these methods.

Where and when ?

The G1000 summer school will take place in Eupen (Belgium) Monday 6 and Tuesday 7 July 2020.

The city of Eupen has been chosen as it is the capital of the German speaking region of Belgium.

This region was the first in the world to install a permanent form of citizen participation in policy-making through deliberation and sortition in connection to an elected parliament. See here for more information on this.

 

How ?

Regions or cities that want to participate, apply with one to three people that work in this field (participation, citizen engagement) in their administration. It would be beneficial if this also includes at least one elected politician that has the capacity to promote this idea at the political level. A mix is ideal, but of course not a prerequisite.

The participants will work together during roundtables to reflect on several issues that are important to consider when designing a deliberative process with sortition for a community. Separate workshops will also take an in-depth look at very specific aspects of a deliberative process and help participants think very practically about their own project. At the end of the two days the participants would have a draft-design to apply this in their region or city.  

A constant feedback from international experts in the field will be provided as well as moments where participants present their ideas to their peers for more feedback and discussion. A limited number of interventions are also planned in which politicians that have already started with such a process will share their own experiences.

How to apply ?

You can apply for the summer school by filling out this form before the 15th of June, 2020. You can also ask for additional information on the address y.dejaeghere@fgf.be.

In the form, we ask you to briefly specify your motivation to come to the summer school. We also ask you to detail what the ambition would be of the current regional/city administration in this field.

We are limited in the number of people we can host at the summer school.

Participants will pay a fee of 750 € per person. This includes a two night stay (single room) in Eupen on night of the 5th and 6th of July 2020 and lunch during the two days of the event and dinner on the evening of the 6th of July. Participants need to make their own travel arrangements. Eupen can be reached by a train connection from Brussels Airport.

Experts at the Summer School

Even though there will be brief presentations, the experts will mostly be facilitators and discussion partners during the summer school.

The working language of the summer school will be English. A francophone version of the summer school will be organized later this year (dates for that to be announced later).

The experts at the summer school will be:

Art O’Leary - Ireland (tbc)

Art has been Secretary General to the President of Ireland since 2014.

His career also includes previous roles as Secretary to the Convention on the Constitution (2012 – 2014) and as Director of Parliamentary Committees, Human Resources, Information and Communications at the Irish Houses of Parliament (2001 – 2012).

Gaëtane Ricard-Nihoul – France/Belgium

Deputy Head of the Citizens' Dialogues Unit in the European Commission.

Ex-deputy Secretary General for the Citizens' Consultations on Europe and Head of the Citizens' Conferences Departement for the Grand Débat in France, she has been both writing on and organizing citizens' participation and deliberation at national and European level.

Zakia Elvang - Denmark

Partner in We Do Democracy,  advisor and activist.

The organizer and moderator of the first Danish citizens assembly in the city of Copenhagen, running several assemblies in 2020 and taking lead on bringing deliberative processes to Denmark both on national and local level.

Yves Dejaeghere - Belgium

Coordinator of the G1000 organization.

Has been involved in the Ostbelgien process as the reference person for the G1000 organization. He is also a guest lecturer in political science at the Universiteit Antwerpen.

Iain Walker - Australia

Executive director of the newDemocracy Foundation in Australia.

He has been part of deliberative processes both at the local and provincial level in Australia and is a known international expert and public speaker on the topic.

Testimonials from last year

Our delegation from the New South Wales Parliament found the experience informative, educational, balanced and in many ways inspiring. It allowed us to explore different frameworks and methods of deliberative democracy and importantly, solidify views about how we could apply them back home. The presenters and facilitators took us on a path from discussion and philosophical perspectives, to concrete and real examples we could implement. Presenters were frank about what worked and what didn’t. It wasn’t a preaching exercise, rather it was an informed and authentic discussion that will no doubt lead to the improvement of deliberative democratic projects around the world.

Jonathan O’Dea,
Speaker of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly,
Australia.

Picking different ideas from different stories, meeting new people, learning from others about what works and what doesn’t. There was a lot of expertise on diversity, on complexity.

Sigrid Bosmans,
Museum Director,
Mechelen, Belgium

Honestly, I didn’t know it is such a movement! This is so relevant, not just for mayors, but for all local politicians, civil servants, and many others.

Dirk Mattheeuws,
Project employee on participation in the City of Mechelen,
Belgium

I want to participate again! So interesting, so useful!

Wieke Paulusma,
City Council Member for Groningen,
the Netherlands

In the City of Leuven, we are studying how sortition can complement what we already have. Drafting citizens by lot not only makes your group so much more diverse, it enhances trust, too. At the Summer School I got a number of tools. It was open, pleasant, informal, joyful and fun.

Jan Mellebeek,
Head of Local Policy Action,
City of Leuven, Belgium

I learnt a lot about practical questions: random selection, process design, building links to the political agenda, etcetera.

Paolo Ciampaglione,
‘Future of Europe’ team,
European Committee of the Regions

Entering the field of deliberative democracy is like entering a new home. The Summer School allowed me to go through the drawers and discover what tools are there.

Jorge Valladares,
Head of the joint IDEA-Electoral Tribunal ‘Democratic Strengthening Project’,
Panama, Peru

The real benefit is to learn from actual case studies from practitioners who have done it. The Summer School offers you the value of shared learning. You can’t get it anywhere else.

Art O’Leary,
Secretary General to the President of Ireland

Democratic innovation is a fascinating, inevitable movement. It is happening everywhere! The Summer School is the place where people gather to learn and deepen their understanding.

Bert Blase,
Mayor of Heerhugowaard,
the Netherlands

The Summer School is a really lovely opportunity to see how people are interested in deliberative democracy for a wide variety of purposes.

Prof. Rachael Walsh,
Constitutional law adviser to the Irish Citizens’ Assembly,
Ireland

The Summer School is so inspirational. When you think you’re the only one, you meet all these people who stimulate your thinking and learning. Really great stuff, very practical too. The warmth, the solidarity... it’s wonderful!

Graham Allen,
former UK Member of Parliament for Labour (1987-2017),
founder of the Citizens Convention on UK Democracy

The Summer School gave me lots of ideas for my work in Iceland. And a whole network of people doing similar things. If I have a question now, I know to whom I can send an e-mail!

Sigrún María Kristinsdóttir,
Project manager of Public Participatory Democracy in Kópavogur,
Iceland’s second largest municipality

Great speakers, great organisation, great programme. And really interesting peer-to-peer contacts.

Ilse Dries,
Participation Coordinator at the Flemish Administration,
Belgium