Inclusiveness, Accessibility and Horizontal Deliberation

In May, we held our first Knowledge Exchange workshop in-person in Reggio Emilia, Italy.


This workshop was aimed to facilitate knowledge exchange between the project partners, and a wider group of external experts and enthusiasts in participatory and deliberative practices - the EUArenas Community of Practice.


The event was jointly attended by both the Community of Practice and the consortium.



The workshop started with a future-thinking activity, where we shared our thoughts on the current state of democracy, the democratic future we would like to see, and how we could get there. Here, a key question was raised by our participants: "Is democracy really working?"


Then, we took part in a World Cafe and tackled the following topics in participation and deliberation:

  • How do structural/social inequalities impact on how our democracies work and who is included in participatory and deliberative processes?

  • What tools, techniques and methods can support inclusiveness and accessibility in participatory and deliberative processes, specifically when involving people who are usually marginalised from these processes?

  • How can we engage “decision-makers” effectively in participatory and deliberative practices and how do we move participation and deliberation in democracy from ‘siloed practice/pilots’ to more mainstream, embedded activities?

  • Is it possible to achieve horizontal and equal deliberation - why and how?


The full report of the workshop can be download here. In this report, we have synthesised the ideas and existing examples voiced by academics and practitioners of democracy innovation.

 

Interested in joining the EUARENAS Community of Practice? Contact us at: matt.fritsch@uef.fi