Is it time to start experimenting with democracy? We recently organised a Citizens’ Panel bringing together citizens and civil society members to discuss. Below are some of the questions that come out of that panel.
First, Paolo asked:
How can we make democracy more accessible to those who come from more vulnerable or marginalised communities? How can we make sure that a cultural change is enabled in order to make sure that people can participate in a more direct way into decision-making processes, and are actually empowered to do so safely? How can we have the chance of politics leading to bigger, more radical changes when needed, rather than relying so much on individual initiative at a higher level, such as within international frameworks?
Next, Kleopatra from Greece asked:
How do we foster the power of social media to bring people’s voices marginalized people’s voices or disadvantage people’s voices to the forefront and enhance the democratic process through these new technologies? How do we manage to build bridges between people who seem to fundamentally disagree on core issues? For example, how do we build a bridge of communication between people who are feminists with those who are not feminists? Or people who believe in climate change and those who don’t?
Finally, Maarten from the Netherlands asked:
How can we prevent so-called democratic innovations reproducing existing structural inequalities? Do you agree with me that so-called democratic innovations are only meaningful and / or successful if they are evaluated as such by those most marginalized in society?
To get a response, we organised a panel of experts on participatory and deliberative democracy:
💬Camille Dobler, Missions Publiques
💬Niccolò Milanese, European Alternatives & Citizens Takeover Europe
💬Gaetane Ricard-Nihoul, Conference on the Future of Europe Secretariat
💬Manon Revel, Institute for Data, Systems and Society, MIT
💬Daniela Vancic, Democracy International & Citizens Takeover Europe
You can watch the panel in the video above.
What should democracy look like in the 21st century? Does democracy have to resemble the post-war democratic systems we are all familiar with? Can Europe institutionalise the “deliberative wave” of democratic experimentation represented by national citizens’ assemblies, mini-publics, and the Conference on the Future of Europe? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!