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Spring School on Climate Citizens' Assemblies

February 23, 2023

Designing climate futures with citizens

APRIL 27 - 28

Registration and further information >

From the European Green Deal to municipal master plans, the significance and priority of climate policies are increasing across all levels of government. The sense of urgency and complexity means that the challenge of climate policy is often portrayed as belonging to the technical domain. However, climate solutions entail diverse sets of consequences in the social and political arenas. The legitimacy of these strategic and long-lasting decisions requires greater societal deliberation. In this context, Federation for Innovation in Democracy – Europe (FIDE) in partnership with the Knowledge Network on Climate Assemblies (KNOCA) are organizing a two-day Spring School on Climate Citizens’ Assemblies (CCA) to strengthen the capacities of institutions and organizations to run these deliberative processes.

The Spring School will take place from April 27 th to 28th in Milan, hosted by the Fondazione Giangiacomo Feltrinelli. It will bring together those in positions to advocate, design or implement a CCA. These are politicians, civil servants and civil society actors looking to set up or engage in a specific process or project. The event will boost ongoing projects and encourage the creation of new ones, in Italy and throughout the continent.

Starting with an introductory session bringing all participants up to speed on the emergence of CCAs, sessions will dive into the details of the design process: How do you frame your question? What governance structures should you consider to ensure a robust process? How to ensure integration of the assembly into ongoing policy processes? How to select and present complex evidence to participants?

These are just some of the ingredients of the programme, spiced up with breakout workshops and moments to reflect collectively on the information presented. The registrations are limited to two participants per delegation. A few discounted tickets are available for participants from organizations with limited financial resources. If you think this is your case, please do highlight in the registration form.

Confirmed Speakers
  • Lise Deshautel, KNOCA – advisor to French Climate Convention.
  • Mark Beanland, Danish Board of Technology / KNOCA – lead facilitator Aarhus Assembly.
  • Peter Bryant, Shared Future – organizer of a number of assemblies and juries in UK.
  • Simone Zippel, Erlangen – civil servant responsible for Erlangen Climate Assembly.
  • Eva Bordos, DemNet – organizer of Budapest Climate Assembly.
  • Katie Reid, terres des hommes – Ireland’s Citizens’ Assembly on Biodiversity and Scotland’s Climate Assembly.
  • Introduction to climate assemblies: Why should you organize a climate assembly? What are its foundational elements, and how can it help the wider efforts to tackle the climate crisis?
  • Framing: Getting the question right sets you on the right path. Here we will explore the key variables you should consider.
  • Governance: Citizen Assemblies are not organized in a vacuum. Various stakeholders need to be involved in making decisions to ensure a robust process.
  • Recruitment: One of the core elements to ensure legitimacy is achieved.
  • Selecting and presenting evidence: possibly one of the most challenging aspects of the design process and one that varies significantly depending on the assembly. We will bring you important insights on how to approach the challenge.
  • Landing assemblies within public administrations: integrating a citizens’ assembly into your institutional decision making processes is not simple. Here we will bring you insights from emerging experiences of institutionalization across Europe.
Possible Breakout Sessions
  1. Children and young people: they certainly have a moral entitlement regarding climate issues. How can we get them engaged in the process?
  2. Engaging stakeholders: they are, in the end, a crucial part of implementing the recommendations but how can they be integrated?
  3. Communication: clear and honest communication is crucial to help the general audience understand the principles behind the process and ensure political commitments.
  4. Citizens’ juries as an alternative: what other formats of deliberative processes exist, and what are their use cases?
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