The Jury had previously met for 3 days in person. The Group was at the stage of deliberating, discussing and writing their report. They had received all their evidence, they had got to know each other, and they had spent a lot of time thinking, researching and discussing the issues. democracyCo had less than 2 weeks to prepare for moving the process online.
A combination of Zoom, Poll Everywhere and Google docs was used.
This report summarises some of the main reflections of democracyCo facilitators.
In general, going online was as good as being face to face for this stage in the Jury process.
This Jury went into their final weekend and the online environment, having spent a lot of time together – they knew each other, they had built relationships and they had built a strong group rapport.
Being online allowed the Jury to be focussed, targeted and productive. The powerful combination of video conferencing and collaborative writing ensured that the online process, as much as possible, replicated the process which normally occurs in the room.
We remain curious about doing a whole deliberative process online (where the participants didn’t already know each other) because of the importance of relationships in reaching consensus.
We are currently undertaking an in-depth evaluation process involving Jurors and their experience which we will share later, but our initial feedback is that the Jurors thought it worked really well and, in some ways, loved the experience.
“I think that you did an amazing job moving the final weekend to an online process at such short notice. I feel it worked really well. I loved the break outs into the small groups and it felt like it was a ‘beam me up, Scotty’ moment when we re-joined the main group again.”
Keen to learn more? Please don’t hesitate to contact either of the CoCEO’s of democracyCo we are more than happy to share our experiences and assist you in any way we can.