In a second in our series on wise democracy – Natalija Voijno published a post about the Wise Democracy session on Medium, sharing her thoughts on better democratic decisions.
<> Deliberation, election and political practices have attempted many forms of democratic participation. Yet do we experience these as democratic?
<> What contributes to a felt understanding of the intent of democratic participation?
<> Do we ever experience power sharing? If so, how, and what do we as citizens actually do with power? (Maybe we will enhance democratic practice if were clearer about what we expected to achieve).
<> What civic experiments could we do to further our learning journeys?
- Technology is a barrier and an opportunity — we could welcome participants from outside of the city but the experience of toggling screens was not the same as handling a deck of cards.
- People have a lot going on, and one screen activity blends into another. Take a moment to do a grounding activity and let participants “arrive”.
- Coordinate with your co-facilitator in advance, discuss your Plan B if tech falters, and have an active side chat going on (consider using a different platform for you two e.g. Skype)
- The added complexity of the global situation combined with a new tool and shortened time-frame (taking screen fatigue into account) gave enough time for learning and reflection but not enough for generative dialogue
- Consider using an alternative table-top like Miro
- Know your group, their needs, and their tolerance for experimentation. Cultivating community in advance builds the trust needed to be brave and engage in co-learning.
- Develop a regular system for checking in and building consensus because you will lose the benefit or reading the room and gauging body language. Adapt by asking for non-verbal clues like a thumbs up and mind-body activities in addition to the chat.
In Part Two we would like to host more of an open space for generative dialogue where we can explore the questions of:
- Deliberation, election and political practices have attempted many forms of democratic participation. Yet do we experience these as democratic?
- What contributes to a felt understanding of the intent of democratic participation?
- Where do we experience power sharing? What do we as citizens actually get to do with power?
- What civic experiments could we do to further our learning journeys?
As political strategist Tiffany Jean Gooch wrote in her column for the Toronto Star, “It’s time to be bold and creative,” encouraging public and private sector leaders alike to dream a little.