Academic Citizens’ Assembly
Reinventing direct democracy for today’s challenges
Improve citizens’ understanding and participation for advanced democratic decision-making, balancing and enhancing both collective and individual freedoms, in particular towards reaching societal goals of universal human wellbeing within the limits of the biosphere, while respecting human rights, building on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 1993 Vienna Declaration.
Climate crisis, biodiversity loss, growing inequality - Science shows that nothing short of a radical reduction of humanity’s aggregate energy and material metabolism, combined with a complete restructuring of almost every economic activity, to ensure inclusive and universal satisfaction of human needs, will get us where we need to be. Technology will help, but only once we agree on the goal of society, and redefine our common values.
- Develop a process and tools for a citzens’ assembly scalable to any size.
- Include academic principles and values in the ACA.
- Validate the ACA in real-life settings: cities, communes, cantons.
- Integrate the ACA in the Swiss political landscape.
- Use the new ACA to engage the Swiss society with climate and biodiversity action, as well as societal wellbeing.
What are the expected outputs of this project?
- Capacity building/broad learning about major issues of society
- Timely, better decision-making with limited polarization
- Enable effective Swiss climate and biodiversity action
- Improved social cohesion, better empathy
ACA 2021 - small scale (50 people), first prototype, not scalable
ACA 2022 - small scale (70 people), first fully scalable prototype
Mini-ACA K3 topic (How to make sufficiency central to the national climate strategy?) at the Klimakommunikation 2022
First and second real-life ACA in a city or commune
- From 2024
Integrate the ACA in the Swiss political landscape
This project is supported by the main partners: BSL, EPFL. Supporting institutions: CLIMACT, E4S, EPFL Sustainability
Links and documents
- Mini-ACA K3 topic (How to make sufficiency central to the national climate strategy?) at the Klimakommunikation 2022
- Academic Citizen Assembly website
- ACA 2022 report
- ACA 2022: a way for better decision-making on complex and divisive issues?
- 10 recommendations which could significantly increase the effectiveness of Swiss climate policy
- CLIMACT Seminar Series #2, 18.10.2021 “ACA: reinventing direct democracy for today's challenges”