Are you a public servant or politician, looking for new ways to involve citizens in policy-making in your community?

Are you thrilled to learn about fascinating examples of public deliberation from governments in France, Australia, Belgium, Ireland and elsewhere?

Then join us for the G1000 Summer School in Eupen, the capital of German-speaking Belgium and home of the world’s first permanent institution composed of citizens drafted by lot.

Every year, the G1000 Autumn School brings together a number of world-leading experts in the field of deliberative democracy and sortition, as well as dozens of public servants and politicians working at all levels of government. With their help, you can develop your own project tailored to the specific requirements of your city or region.

In 2019, we hosted more than 50 participants from 11 countries in Europe. You can read some of their testimonials below.

What is the G1000 ?

G1000 is a non-profit platform for democratic innovation. We develop, support and promote democratic innovation such as deliberation with randomly selected citizens, to reinforce democracy from the local to the national level.

Among our realisations are the G1000 in 2011, a grassroots deliberative process in Belgium that involved hundreds of citizens, and the design of the so-called “Ostbelgien Model”. This goundbreaking system of participation includes the worlds’ first permanent political institution with citizens drafted by lot.

 

Why an Autumn School?

One of G1000’s main objectives is to ‘build capacity’ for the development of democratic innovation. As such, we want to inspire, educate and assist politicians and/or civil servants in designing a model for deliberative democracy and sortition in their own communities.

During the Autumn School, participants are informed about interesting cases regarding deliberative democracy from around the world. Additionally, participants will be assisted in developing their own project, based on the political and sociological characteristics of their community. We will equally consider some good arguments and incentives that politicians can employ when introducing these methods.

Where and when ?

The G1000 summer school will take place in Eupen, the capital of the German speaking region of Belgium and the home of the ‘Ostbelgien model, on Thursday 18 and Friday 19 November, 2021. Those that are interested can also participate in the welcome drink offered by the Parliament on Wednesday 17 November.

It will be hosted in Eupen, the capital of the German speaking region of Belgium and the home of the ‘Ostbelgien model’.

 

What will we do?

The Autumn School is centered around several thematic workshops, during which we discuss the different stages of a deliberative process: Set-up, recruitment, deliberation, outputs and institutionalization. To help the participants, we have invited several experts to discuss several specific cases that they have been working on. Furthermore, the experts will also advise the participants when they work on their projects.

The days proceed as follows: first, we have a general introduction of the central case studies of the day. After that, we organize several workshops. Each workshop is structured as follows:

  1. a brief info session of the experts, who discuss how they dealt with several issues related to the central theme of the workshop;
  2. questions from the audience and
  3. time for the participants to work on their own projects, with the help of the experts.

As a result, at the end of the Summer School, all participants will have a draft-design of a deliberative process that they can apply in their own community.

Experts at the Autumn School

We are very proud to present a very diverse group of international experts, who have worked on a range of different deliberative projects:

Claudia Chwalisz – OECD

Claudia leads the OECD’s work on innovative citizen participation.

She co-authored the famous OECD report on this topic: Innovative Citizen Participation and New Democratic Institutions: Catching the Deliberative Wave (2020). Claudia also coordinates the OECD Innovative Citizen Participation Network of leading international practitioners, academics, public servants, and designers. Together with David Van Reybrouck, she will give the first introductory session of the workshop.

David Van Reybrouck – G1000

David was in 2011 one of the initiators of the grassroots G1000 initiative in Belgium, which is still one of the most famous deliberative initiatives in Belgium.

He also authored the book Against Elections: the Case for Democracy, an essay that has been translated in 17 languages and explains why and how governments should employ deliberative methods to improve democracy. Today, David is the managing director of G1000 organization. Together with Claudia Chwalisz, he will give the first introductory session of the workshop.

Lise Deshautel

Lise Deshautel is a consultant on climate policies and citizen participation.

She was an advisor to the French Citizens’ Climate Assembly's governing committee, which she will present at the Autumn SchooL. Previously, she has spearheaded numerous legislative and political campaigns related to ecological transition in the EU and France. More recently, she contributed to the development of the Knowledge network on climate assemblies (KNOCA)

Magali Plovie – Brussels

Magali Plovie serves since several years as MP for the green party in the parliament of the Brussels metropolitan area.

Since 2019, she is the chair of COCOF – the local representative of the French-speaking communities in Brussels. In that same year, she also led the parliamentary work to organize ‘mixed commissions’ of citizens and politicians in Brussels. She will discuss the first results of these commissions in Brussels.

Art O’Leary - Ireland

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).

Adinda Claesen – Oud-Heverlee

Since 2018, Adinda serves as representative for the Green party and as chairwoman of the council in Oud-Heverlee, a Belgium municipality of 11.000 inhabitants.

In 2020, she co-organized the ‘Future forum’, a deliberative process that discussed the future of the Zoetwater site in Oud-Heverlee. The participants in this project were citizens drafted by lot, but also elected representatives from all political fractions and the advisory boards of the city. This is the project that she will present.

Karl-Heinz Lambertz - East-Belgium

Karl-Heinz Lambertz has dozens of years of political experience.

As a member of the Socialist party of East-Belgium, he served as MP and minister of the German-speaking community in Belgium. Currently, he is the president of the parliament of that same community. He will discuss his views on the ‘Ostbelgien model’.

Anna Stuers - East-Belgium

Anna Stuers is the president of the permanent secretary of the Bürgerdialog in the German-speaking community.

As such, she coordinates the activities and administrative processes of the Ostbelgien model. She will discuss several aspects of the functioning of the ‘Ostbelgien model’.

Iain Walker - New Democracy Foundation

Iain Walker is the executive director of the newDemocracy Foundation in Australia.

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

Typhanie Scognamiglio

Typhanie is in charge of the inter-ministerial center of citizen participation in France.

In this position, she gives advice on national deliberative processes and coordinates the work of the French government to institutionalize these processes.

Testimonials from the 2019 edition

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

How to apply?

Cities, regions, politicians, governments,… that want to participate, can apply with one to three people. The profiles we are looking for are (1) people working in the administration, in the field of participation or citizen engagement and (2) elected politicians, who have the capacity to promote the project at the political level. A mix is ideal, but of course not a prerequisite.

You can apply for the summer school by filling out this form before the 15th of October, 2021. In the form, we ask you to briefly specify your motivation to come to the summer school.

To guarantee good debates and ample learning opportunities, we can only host a limited amount of people at the Autumn School, so do not wait too long to apply!

 

Practicalities

Participants will pay a fee of 790 € per person. This includes:

  • a two-night stay (single room) in Eupen on the night of the 17th and 18th of November;
  • breakfast (at the hotel), lunch, coffee and other catering during the two days of the event;
  • dinner on the evening of the 18th of November.

Participants need to make their own travel arrangements. Eupen can be reached by a train connection from Brussels Airport.

The working language of the Autumn School will be English.

We can offer an adapted price for a limited number of non-affiliated people who would like to participate. If you would like to apply for this, please contact the G1000-coordinator (see below).

For all additional enquiries, please contact the G1000-coordinator Ben Eersels (ben.eersels@g1000.org).