Global inclusion of citizens leading up to COP11 – World Wide Views

The Danish Board of Technology’s World Wide Views is a unique method developed for engaging citizens in complex issues such as climate change or biodiversity; fields typically reserved for governments, powerful NGOs and experts.

Initiator: VELUX Fonden
Period: 2011 – 2012

 

Context
The Danish Board of Technology coordinated the 34 citizen meetings in 25 countries, including Denmark, where 100 citizens voted on identical problematics on biodiversity at each meeting, prior to COP11 in India. This coordination was carried out in collaboration with the UN’s general office for biodiversity. Furthermore, a final report based on a qualitative analysis of the voting results was presented at COP11.

 

Method
Before the meeting, citizens were provided with scientifically balanced informative material. During the citizen meetings, the most important points were repeated in short videos which were shown to all participating citizens. Subsequently, the citizens discussed the various issues in smaller groups, mediated by a chairman at each table in order to ensure that everyone contributed to the debate. After half an hours debate, the citizens were given a ballot paper on the different issues which had been debated.

 

Results
The politicians were given a clear impression of citizens’ prioritization of complex issues on an informed basis. This can help the politicians make decisions; the level of accordance between those decisions and the citizens’ wishes will determine the legitimacy of the politicians’ choices and increase the tenability.

The experiences and evaluations of WWViews were so successful that The Danish Board of Technology Foundation will use it again in preparation for COP21 in Paris. This time 76 countries will participate and The Danish Board of Technology Foundation will be working with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the French government.