The Deliberative Democracy Consortium

Mar 27th
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Home Workshops Sydney 2011


Deliberative Democracy: Connecting Research and Practice

An invited workshop for leading researchers and practitioners from Australasia, Europe and North America.

Location: New Law Building (lecture rm 024), The University of Sydney, Camperdown Campus

When: 3 – 5 February 2011

+ newdemocracy Foundation
+ University of Western Sydney

Visual report on the workshop

Visual report on the workshop

The graphic recording of the Researcher and Practitioner meeting was done by Rebecca Lazenby of Paragrafix, with support from the Centre for Citizenship and Public Policy at the University of Western Sydney. There are pictures too in this visual report (pdf 2mb) from the workshop. Here is a sample:

Results of Priority Poll on Research/Practice projects

Using the PrioritySpend software, the results of the poll to prioritise the potential research/practice projects has been completed.

Note that the results for "logged in" voters includes only those in the room, while "guests" includes online visitors to the site.

To see the results, use this direct link, or else you can use this short url.

The poll is now closes, so see the results shown in a PDF.

Thanks to everyone who dialed in for voting!!

Voting now open on R&P projects

You can now vote on which of the proposals that emerged at the Researcher and Practitioner meeting in Sydney should be funded. The PrioritySpend voting process will give you 100 "tokens" which you can allocate among as many of the 13 projects as you wish. Go to the voting page here.

Criteria added today

Here are some more criteria, generated at the meeting today, that you might want to consider when voting - these emerged from a lively brainstorming session - we did not address overlaps or redundancies, or try to come to consensus:

- Does the project have the capacity to establish and promote the potential of deliberative democracy?

- Are there partners (NGO, government, university) involved in the project?

- Does it "push the field along?"

- Does it apply to multiple levels of government/governance?

- Does it have "general public appeal?"

- Does it address a gap in current research or practice?

- Does it have the potential to be transferable?

- Is there a clear sense of the potential audience for the findings that will emerge?

- Will the project lead to equitable outcomes?

- Does it have a reasonable chance of affecting or supporting systemic change?

- Will it affect the philanthropic sector?

- Will it stimulate future research and/or practice?

- Is it interesting to researchers and applicable to partners and practitioners?

- Does it seem durable enough to withstand the various risks involved in conducting these sorts of projects?

Criteria to think about when voting

Here are some of the criteria developed at the 2007 DDC Researcher and Practitioner meeting to guide our decisions on how to allocate funding:

1) Relevance for both researchers & practitioners;
2) Resonance with larger audiences (media, decision-makers, public);
3) Practicality and cost-effectiveness, given the limited available funding OR how the project will fit as part of a larger effort (how will it help leverage other resources?)
4) Value as the basis for further innovations in research and practice; and
5) Potential application in many countries.

Exciting developments in DD

Exciting developments in DD:

- potential of online media

- more case studies to learn from

- attempts to embed DD processes (not just in gov't but in community)

- better understanding/exploration of deliberative systems

- recognizing and learning from other cultures

- stories of personal transformation through DD

Success factors

Things that seem to factor into the success of DD projects:

- structure of process

- involving decision makers

- multiple incentives for different people to participate

- relevance/salience of issue (shared problem?)

- urgency/crisis

- clear communication, using social media and mass media

- level of trust built

- clarity of roles

- making it "the norm" (embedding, sustaining)

Curiosities about DD

Things we are curious about:

- capacity-building

- technology/online/face-to-face/social media

- deliberative systems

- learning with/from different cultures

- media

- fairness in DD

- DD terminology/framings

- transformation of disciplines

- impacts on citizens

When has deliberative democracy been at its best?

...and how can we have more of that?

(from Appreciative Inquiry session)

What research questions are most promising?

Here's another question for your input:

What research questions, if answered, would allow deliberative democracy processes to contribute to resolving the complex challenges of our time?

Key workshop outcomes

  1. Set the context for deliberative democracy in theory and practice
  2. Build mutual understanding between researchers and public participation practitioners
  3. Experience different deliberative techniques
  4. Establish and promote the potential of deliberative democracy and public participation (especially to contribute to the resolution of complex challenges of our time)
  5. Determine priorities for further research and recommend proposals for funding.

What are the latest developments?

For the workshop, the first question we'd like your feedback on is:

- What are the most recent developments (exciting or disappointing) in deliberative democracy?

(These could be examples from the field, or new publications or research reports, or media coverage - or something else entirely. You tell us!)

How to participate

You can make "virtual" contributions to the workshop through Twitter and by commenting on these blog posts. On Twitter, use the hashtag #delibworkshop, and your tweets will show up in the box on the right.

Deliberative democracy workshop online presence

This section of the website is for participants attending the workshop in Sydney (3-5 Feb 2011), as well as for those who are interested in following it from afar. Here's how it works:



The conference accommodation is:

Rydges Camperdown Hotel, Sydney
9 Missenden Road, Camperdown, NSW, 2050
Phone:+61 2 9516 1522

Inquiries and arrangements should be directed to Dallas Rogers, the conference coordinator.
email:     mobile: 0401 558 345


Picture Gallery


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