A conference to learn about international Citizens’ Assemblies


Organised by the Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa, in collaboration with Arantzazulab and TMeLab, a conference on international citizens’ assemblies will be held on the 7th of June at the Miramar Palace in San Sebastian, from 16:30 to 19:30. Under the title ‘The deliberative wave in the world: Citizens’ Assemblies. International experiences’, the conference, which will be chaired by the Head of the Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa, Markel Olano, will be attended by provincial political representatives, representatives of local public institutions, social agents from the territory, experts from academia and interested citizens.

New forms of collaboration between citizens and public institutions are needed to explore answers to the complex and interconnected challenges we face. Internationally, an innovative approach is being developed to promote new governance models between institutions and citizens. What is being called the deliberative wave is emerging, and among others Citizens’ Assemblies initiatives are spreading around the world. Those activate citizens selected through civic lottery.

With the aim of deepening new forms of Collaborative Governance, the Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa, through the collaboration between Arantzazulab and TMeLab, will promote a Citizens’ Assembly to highlight the role of the rural environment and agricultural activity in the face of climate change. This initiative is currently in the design phase, and the aim is to implement the process between the end of 2022 and the beginning of 2023. 


From this perspective, and with the aim of deepening the knowledge of these deliberative processes, the conference on the 7th of June will bring together international experiences thanks to the participation of the experts of deliberative democracy. The aim of this session is to learn about the Citizens’ Assemblies promoted in different European countries (Denmark, Scotland, Ireland, etc.) from people who have set them up, researchers who have evaluated these processes, as well as politicians who have promoted inclusive and effective citizen participation. The line-up of speakers will be made up of: Markel Olano, Head of the Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa; Naiara Goia, Arantzazulab’s Managing Director; Urko Aiartza, Director of TM eLab; Arantxa Mendiharat (Deliberativa); Claudia Chwalisz (OECD); Stephen Gethins (St. Andrews University, Scotland), Óliver Escobar (University of Edinburgh, Scotland); Lars Klüver (Danish Board of Technology, Denmark) and Graham Smith (KNOCA).