Given the difficulty the general public has in finding the critical information for our country’s future, they generally form opinions about the merits of a particular policy proposal from influential sources (government, interest groups or business) without access to key information.
“It is an important discussion for the state and I wanted to learn more. I wanted to do my citizen duty and take part in the jury process on behalf of the community – it is a privilege.” “I wanted the opportunity to make well informed decisions and wanted my kids to know if you have chance to get involved about a subject you felt was important, you should” Quotes from Jurors who were part of the Nuclear Citizens Jury 2 in 2017
What if we found a way to make democracy work in this connected, fast paced world in which we live? What if we found a way to encourage more participation and enable greater deliberation which engages the community in decision making? What if we found a way to capture the views of the ‘mainstream’ public … but not just their reactive views, but the views the public form when they have considered the arguments, evidence and the facts?
It is possible and what’s more it is absolutely necessary!
There is an information in-balance or divide between what is easily available to those in decision making roles and what is available to the general public. Leaders have considerable resources to commission analysis on issues and problems and receive advice accordingly. This information is critical to making sound decisions about our country’s future, but it is rarely available to the general public or where it is, it is hard to find or requires knowing that it exists before one can go hunting for it.
Given this, communities and citizens generally form opinions about the merits of a particular policy proposal from government or business without access to the information used by those who developed it. The result is that the response provided by the public amounts to a gut reaction based on impacts on the individual (and understandably so). This can and does regularly create both short and long term problems… both for individuals and for leaders.
The only way to address this is by arming people with all the facts and supporting them to make sense, and critically analyse that information. This is best supported by an exceptional and wide ranging communication strategy to harness a ‘whole of society’ public discussion about the issue.
We believe in the ability of all people to understand even the most complex of problems – and we are specialists in designing processes which encourage this to occur. All of the work we do draws on the expertise and experience of all people while encouraging them to come up with solutions which are for the greater good.
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