The WWViews method is a hybrid based on several decades of innovation by the Danish Board of Technology (DBT - the Danish Parliament's Office of Technology Assessment), and by other WWViews Alliance members, in engaging citizens in political decision-making processes.
These methods have primarily been developed within the field of Participatory Technology Assessment but have repeatedly been used in wider political contexts. Some of the methods have been implemented in trans-national projects in Europe, but WWViews was the first global project in this field
The core of the method was citizens meetings with 100 participants each, held in all participating countries. Some countries held several meetings on different sites.
Citizens were selected with the aim of representing the demographic distribution in the region with regards to age, gender, occupation, education and other criteria.
The method contained an element of authentic citizen expressions in terms of action recommendations to COP15 negotiators, for which techniques from the 'Citizen Hearing', developed by the Danish Board of Technology, were used.
Part of the programme for the meeting contained thematic deliberations, which led to on-the-spot voting on a set of pre-prepared questions.
This included elements inspired by the 'Deliberative Poll' (developed by James Fishkin), the 'Citizen Summit' (developed by America Speaks), and the 'Voting Conference' (developed by the Danish Board of Technology). Â
The method had unique features connected mainly to global Internet based cooperation and Internet communication of the results. Using the Internet it was possible to include 44 meetings in the project.
With a newly developed web tool for reporting results, the outcome of the meetings were reported to the WWViews web page immediately on September 26 after which the results were available there instantly. Comparisons of results between countries, regions etc. was and is still possible on the results page.
The citizens received information before and during the meeting based on the same principles of balanced expertise used in a variety of existing methods, including the 'Consensus Conference' (The Danish Board of Technology).
The selection and phrasing of the questions to the citizens as well as the composition of the introductory material was tested at an early stage of their development in citizen focus groups in different parts of the world. An international Scientific Advisory Board with selected experts was appointed and consulted when selecting the questions and preparing the introductory material.
Information videos were made and shown on the citizen meetings and efforts were made to prepare illiterate citizens for September 26.
Common to the methods by which WWViews was inspired was the wish to engage citizens in debates about important, but often complex, issues - often with the aim of giving advice to politicians.
As non-specialists, citizens are in a unique position to weigh the pros and cons of different technological and political initiatives and to evaluate scientific progress from moral, social and cultural perspectives. Common to the methods is also the emphasis on deliberation and dialogue with citizens informed by input from various experts.
The Danish Board of Technology is responsible for the development of the method, development of the web tool and for preparing the questions that the citizens were asked, as well as the preparation of the introductory material in English.
It was the participating partners' responsibility to translate this material into their respective language. In order to gain comparable results, during the WWViews meetings, it was important that participating citizens were introduced only to the common WWViews information material.
Citizens were not introduced to additional expert opinions, questions or information material up to or during the meetings on September 26th 2009.
The WWViews took place approximately 2Â½ months before the climate summit starts. This allowed enough time for results to become known to political decision-makers on COP15 while still being a fresh input to the final negotiations. Â
The Danish Board of Technology - winner of â€™The Jim Creighton Awardâ€™ 2010 for: random selection, deliberative processes, innovation and creative approaches, international reach and courage in public participation.
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