Asambleas Ciudadanos


Tools and methods


The methodological dimension is a significant core of the Citizens’ Assemblies. In this section, analyses and other elements to deal with tools and methods which may serve Assemblies at any time are available. Such elements rely on methodological experience of the Alliance for a Responsible, Plural and United World. These will be gradually enhanced and enriched by the experiences achieved in the Citizens’ Assemblies.



Program for the Coordinators’ meeting on May 11-12 in Paris

Translations : français . English . Español

In just two weeks we will meet in Paris. After reading your messages twice, here is the program that we propose.

Please, excuse the length of this message – which is a little too long (about three pages) – but it includes the complete timetable for the meeting. We also want to introduce, duly in advance, the development of the two-day program, thus hoping to be able to coordinate with all of you.

The first day includes two phases: a rediscovery and an update; and the second day also has two parts: present times and perspectives. How to go beyond 2010?

- 1st stage: we will start with a brief introduction, through which we can take up again the global framework of the idea of Citizens’ Assemblies. This entails shaping the historical meaning of this idea, its place and significance in today’s globalization context. Only two years have passed since our founding meeting in June 2008, but the world has kept on changing since then – and it has changed a lot! The world’s financial and economic crisis broke out right after that meeting in June 2008, and the idea of the Citizens’ Assembly doubles down its pertinence. Luckily, we have made our way more solidly, and we have been articulated, but this is still the beginning of our adventure. The next 5 to 10 years will be crucial.

- 2nd stage: we will continue with a mutual update, to tell each other what we have been doing during the past two years: how we have moved forward, what the difficulties are, how much we have learned. We need to have time to listen to each other and to exchange information. We need to go past the mere passing on of information, so that each presentation may become an enriching exchange occasion. We need to allow, with the given time, for exchanges / questions / answers after each intervention in order to re-dynamize, deepen, and associate with those who have different viewpoints.

- 3rd stage: on the second day, we will look into the preparation work for the meetings during the second semester in 2010. We are aware that not all assemblies share the same level of preparations – some are far from the dates, but they have very detailed travel logs.

- 4th stage: continuation, how to go beyond 2010?

We should try to get done with the first two phases on the first day. This will be hard work; however, should something be left for the second day, we run the risk of being up against the clock. We’ll see…

If we begin the introduction rounds and presentations, with a first exchange, on Tuesday May, 11 at 9.15 a.m., we should be done by 11 a.m.

Then, after a short break, we will move on to the reports by the following Assemblies:

  • Asia
  • Sahel-Sahara and Mali
  • Southern Cone
  • Mediterranean
  • Oceania
  • Europe
  • Transverse follow-up

How can we organize time so as to fit 7 presentations between 11.15 a.m. and 6 p.m., knowing that we also need time for lunch and breaks?

Here is one possible organization:

- 11.15 a.m. – 12 p.m. Asia
- 12 - 12.45 p.m. Sahel - Sahara
- Lunch break until 2.15 p.m.
- 2.15 – 3 p.m. Southern Cone
- 3 - 3.45 p.m. Mediterranean
- Break until 4 p.m.
- 4 - 4.30 p.m. Oceania
- 4.30 – 5 p.m. Europe
- 5 – 5.30 p.m. Cross-section follow-up
- 5.30 – 6 p.m. Group exchange. (Tired) Quick round to note down the first things we learn together.

This is a little tight; however, if each presentation takes 20 minutes, we will have 25 minutes left for the exchange about each Citizens’ Assembly… We will have quick relaxing breaks as well...

On the following day, Wednesday the 12, we should be able to go through both of the following phases.

In order to do this, we first need to start by remembering the pooling together from the previous day. This will take place between 9.15 and 10.15 a.m. We will have rested the night before so as to make the best of the conclusions reached.

After 10.15 a.m. and until lunchtime at 12.45 p.m., we will look into the preparation work of the four on-going assemblies, i.e. Asia, Sahel-Sahara, Southern Cone and Oceania. The Mediterranean team is getting ready a meeting for July.

This session will also be very dynamic, and we will see whether we need a break. We have two and a half hours. We can spend 30 minutes on Asia, 30 minutes on the Sahel-Sahara and 30 minutes on the Southern Cone. The hour we have left we will use for Oceania and the Mediterranean.

Lunch break (like on day 1): from 12.45 p.m. to 2.15 p.m.

During the afternoon we will deal with what happens after 2010. This prospective reflection should be flexible. It will provide us with the necessary air to breathe without feeling suffocated by the 2010 meetings. Looking further away not only gives us courage but also – and above all – the necessary calmness to correctly place the current effort within a long-term road. The “logistic and financial details” of the on-going works will take a simpler dimension. We will see that the road is still long, but beautiful.

This afternoon, we will spend a good hour and a half on a joined articulation, on how to set updated and study the way to get stronger together, beyond the trans-assembly trips. The desire to set up and widen the links that we started with each other and, above all, with other similar initiatives, is very strong. We need to get ready for a vision in common and for a shared, global strategy. The key question is: how can citizens’ assemblies take part in and strengthen the diversity of the citizen and popular dynamics going on during the second decade of the 21st Century?

The assemblies propose a profound renewal of the social contract through the debate on values on the proposals to overcome the current crises. The Ethical Charters turn into an answer which is, at the same time, immediate and sustainable. This also means that we need to remember and re-study some of the objectives of the assemblies in relation to this context. For example, we can think about the fact that the assemblies are unprecedented occasions to make solidarity statements in the face of the current changes and crises, and the citizens’ and popular ethical charters. Together we will think about the chance to do this, guarding the respect for diversity in each process of each region.

We need to think about how we can concretely apply the commitment and capacity to do things together, in spite of the distances, which could in turn strengthen the collective utopia being built. We can think about making videos and compiling, by the end of 2010, what has been produced, which we could call valorization and which would help us become aware of the fact that everything is actually there, palpable, and already begun.