Citizens’ assemblies bring together people from all walks of life – selected randomly, but to be demographically representative – to consider a public issue in depth over multiple days and meetings.
Assembly members hear evidence, question witnesses and deliberate with one another, before reaching recommendations on what they think should be done. Citizens’ assemblies put the trade-offs faced by decision-makers in front of members of the public and ask them to arrive at workable recommendations.
There has been growing interest in citizens' assemblies – and other models of deliberative democracy – in the UK over the past few years. This resource gives some guidance on how to establish a citizens' assembly. It is based on our own experience of running a large number of citizens' assemblies in the UK, on a variety of topics from climate change to hate crime, and social care to the future of town centres.