Went to a seminar hosted by the New Economics Foundation on Friday. It was partly to launch their new publication, Connected Conversations, but the main event was to experience the game of Democs.
As NEF say,
Democs was created so that policy discussion can be open to anyone. While traditional deliberative methods, like citizens juries, are limited to a few people, who take part by invitation, Democs can be used by anyone, in their own home, their local pub or a community centre.
Our Democs kits provide:
- information about a topic on a set of card
- an interactive and engaging process to support deliberation in small groups, usually over an hour and a half.
Perry Walker, from NEF, explained that he was inspired by the idea that people could have meaningful discussions about contentious issues without the need for a facilitator. They could self-organise around a topic and using the cards come to a conclusion, or create the space for further inquiry.
Democs have been developed in Europe, through EU funding and several hundred conversations have been had. You can design your own Democ, by using the on-line tools here. And use the Democs already designed. Go play!