Democratic Innovation Workshop: Inclusion in focus

To mark the launch of the Toolbox of Experimental Participation Methods developed by Eutropian, and to share the knowledge generated in the EUARENAS project, we hosted a workshop in Budapest on participatory and deliberative democracy practices, with a special focus on issues around inclusion. 

The workshop explored the some key questions of participatory democracy with the help of case studies, and interactive knowledge exchange sessions. 

Specifically, the aim of the interactive sessions were to:

  • Reach a shared understanding of participation and deliberative democracy
  • Participation beyond the usual suspects: Discuss contemporary challenges of participation in action
  • Showcase good practices explored by the Toolbox of Experimental Participatory Methods

Participants – from municipalities, NGOs, and universities – shared thoughts and experiences on participation, and debated on key questions about participatory processes: In which topics does participation work well?  What does effective and inclusive participation depend on?

In a second session, we explored deliberative democracy: How does deliberation ensure the emergence of diverse opinions ? In what ways can deliberation be incorporated into participatory processes? How does deliberation relate to other participatory tools? 

Eutropian’s Lukacs Hayes introduced four selected case studies from the toolbox, exploring their scale, target groups, levels of inclusivity, issues around engaging vulnerable groups, maintaining engagement throughout the process, and the factors effecting transferability. The case studies included a variety of participatory methods used in this practices, such as co-design, collaboration pacts, or citizen assemblies, and looked at the different levels of  delegation of powers in each case study.

We extend our gratitude to all participants and organisations for their invaluable contributions. Eutropian is keen to continue offering workshops on deliberative and participatory democracy methods. Please contact us if you or your organisation is interested in trainings. 

Previous slide
Next slide

Participation beyond the usual suspects: The case for sortition

Following the workshop, we hosted a public event on the role of citizens’ assemblies with Brett Hennig of the Sortition Foundation. Citizens’ assemblies are an innovative and powerful way to make political decisions. To be in a citizens’ assembly you must be randomly selected, through a representative sample (through sortition). This randomness ensures that anyone could theoretically be called, making it more inclusive than traditional electoral politics. Much like juries, sortition-selected groups are given expert testimony and evidence so that they can make informed decisions. 

The event’s speaker, Brett Hennig, is a director and co-founder of the Sortition Foundation which helped run the Global Assembly and campaigns to institute the use of democratic lotteries (also called sortition) in government. After spending several disheartening years in civil society organisations, Brett began investigating and researching networked forms of democracy. Hennig has given many talks promoting sortition, published the book ” The End of Politicians: Time for a Real Democracy”,  and has contributed a chapter, “Who needs elections? Accountability, Equality, and Legitimacy under Sortition,” to the book Legislature by Lot: Transformative Designs for Deliberative Governance.

Subscribe to our joint NEWSLETTER for