G1000 - Summer School on Deliberative Democracy for Policy-Makers

12-13 September 2019,
Eupen (Belgium)

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. 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.

G1000 is a platform for democratic innovation within the Foundation for Future Generations. 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. 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.

Where and when?
The summer school will take place in Eupen (Belgium) Thursday 12 and Friday 13 September 2019. 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 an elected politician that has the capacity to promote this idea at the political level, but this is 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. 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 in plenary 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 the form at the end of this page and mail it to y.dejaeghere@fgf.be before August 31st, 2019. You can also ask for additional information on this address. 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 current political support is for this idea and what the ambition would be of the current regional/city administration in this field. To be able to work in depth and with maximal interaction and feedback, the number of participants (not teams) will be limited to 24 persons.
Participants will pay a fee of 320 € per person. This includes a two night stay (single room) at the Hotel Kloster Heidberg in Eupen on 11th and 12th of September 2019 and lunch during the two days of the event. Participants need to make their own travel arrangements. Eupen can be reached by a train connection from Brussels Airport. Dinners are not included in the price.

Experts at the Summer School
The experts will be facilitators and discussion partners during the summer school rather than giving ‘one-way presentations’. Although the working language of the summer school will be English, among the experts are native speakers of Dutch and French and so during roundtables, if something is not clear, specification can be given in those languages.

The experts present will be (preliminary list – to be completed):

  • Yves Dejaeghere: 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.
  • Prof. David Farrell: Prof. Farrell is a professor in political science at the University College Dublin. He has been the research leader of the Irish Citizens’ Assembly. He is a world-renowned researcher and speaker on the topic of deliberative democracy.
  • Min Reuchamps: Member of the Management Committee of the G1000.  Professor in political science at Université Catholique de Louvain-la-Neuve. Has published on democratic innovation and has been involved as an expert in several deliberative processes in Belgium.
  • David Van Reybrouck: co-founder of the G1000 and member of the Management Committee of the organization. Author of the book “Against Elections. The Case for Democracy” and renowned public speaker on deliberative democracy and sortition.
  • Iain Walker: 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.