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The Knowledge Network on Climate Assemblies (KNOCA) aims to improve the commissioning, design, implementation and impact of climate assemblies, using evidence, knowledge exchange and dialogue.

We are an active community of policy makers, practitioners, activists, researchers and other actors with experience and interest in climate assemblies who co-create activities and knowledge.

KNOCA is the go-to place for those seeking considered, rigorous and widely-sourced input on climate assembly practice and we seek to understand the current wave of climate assemblies, document and disseminate best practice and identify and shape future trends so that climate policy and governance is strengthened through the application of robust climate assemblies.

Why has KNOCA been formed?

The first wave of climate assemblies showed how everyday people are willing and able to contribute to climate governance. Despite this empowerment of participants, coupling between assemblies and climate policy cycles and policy systems has often been weak and, in the main, political impact and resonance amongst policy actors, stakeholders and the broader public is still limited.

To improve impact, KNOCA brings together the diffuse and diverse knowledge, experience, and expertise of policymakers, academics, and civil society actors to explore challenges in the design and application of climate assemblies and promote best practice for those organising and advocating assemblies.
@ BMK / Karo Pernegger (The Austrian Citizens’ Climate Assembly)

How does KNOCA work?

KNOCA gathers policy makers, academics, civil society activists and others, working on either climate policy or deliberative democracy, to foster public debate on how to achieve ambitious, effective and legitimate climate policy and governance informed by deliberative engagement with citizens.

The management group organises, commissions and supports network members to deliver a range of activities including learning calls and workshops, knowledge development projects and closed peer-to-peer workshops for policy makers and civil society organisations. Together, as a network, we seek to:

Understand the current wave of climate assemblies


Document and disseminate best practice


Identify and shape future trends so that climate policy and governance is strengthened through the application of robust climate assemblies.

@ Wojciech Radwanski / Fundacja Stocznia
(Poland’s Citizens’ Assembly on Energy Poverty)

Who is involved?

KNOCA is funded by the European Climate Foundation. Its small management group is led by Professor Graham Smith from the Centre for the Study of Democracy at the University of Westminster. DEMOCRACY X, which was formerly called The Danish Board of Technology or DBT, acts as convenor, overseeing the running of the network and leading on communication to ensure the vitality, visibility and relevance of the network.

KNOCA has over 750 individual members from a variety of backgrounds and experience with climate assemblies, including policy makers, practitioners, academics and civil society activists. Joining the network opens up the opportunity to share, discuss and inform best practice and new developments in climate assembly design, delivery and analysis.
@ ICA / The Irish Citizens’ Assembly (An Tionól Saoránach)


Chair of KNOCA

Graham Smith

Graham Smith is Professor of Politics and Director of the Centre for the Study of Democracy at the University of Westminster and Chair of the Foundation for Democracy and Sustainable Development.

Graham is an international expert on climate assemblies and was recognised by Apolitical as one of the Top 100 Most Influential Academics in Government. He is the author of Can Democracy Safeguard the Future?

Alina Averchenkova

Alina Averchenkova is a Distinguished Policy Fellow at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics and a visiting Senior Fellow at the Royal Elcano Institute. Alina is an international expert on climate governance and legislation. In KNOCA she focuses in particular on the role of climate assemblies in climate politics. Her past experience includes international consultancy KPMG, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, a carbon asset manager First Climate and the Environmental Defence Fund. Alina holds a PhD in Economics and International Development from the University of Bath.

Bjørn Bedsted

Bjørn Bedsted is the International Director of DEMOCRACY X (formerly DBT) and has an MA in Social Anthropology. Bjørn has led countless technology assessment and public engagement projects in various technology and policy fields over the past 20+ years.

Bjørn is an expert in citizen participation and responsible research and innovation.

Management group
Management group

Mark Hessellund Beanland

Mark Hessellund Beanland is a Senior Project Manager at DEMOCRACY X (formerly DBT). He is an expert facilitor and works with democratic innovation and participatory democracy. Mark has a background working in politics as a political advisor to the head of the political party, Alternativet. He is educated at the KaosPilots in Aarhus and has an HD in Organization and Leadership from Copenhagen Business School.

Stine Skot

Stine Skot is Project Manager at DEMOCRACY X (formerly DBT), specialized in dramaturgy and in stakeholder and citizen engagement. Stine has a Master of the Arts.

Management group
Management group

Morten Friis

Morten Friis is a Project Manager at DEMOCRACY X (formerly DBT). He has a Master in Political Science from the University of Copenhagen, with a minor in Psychology, and is specialized in democratic innovations and civic participation in the green transition.

Charlotte Billingham

Charlotte Billingham is Senior Associate on the Governance Programme at the European Climate Foundation, joining the organisation in June 2021, at the same time as KNOCA was being launched. She has worked extensively on inclusive Just Transition policies and citizen’s engagement as well as analysis of political and democratic processes in relation to climate issues, she graduated in European Studies and French from the University of Leeds.

Management group
Management group

Erica Hope

Erica Hope is the Director on the Governance Programme at the European Climate Foundation, and the initiator of KNOCA. She has an MA in Human Sciences from the University of Oxford and has worked on various aspects of climate policy since 2005.

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