Citizens Conventions

Involving citizens in public decision-making.

Date & duration: 2021 – 4 months

Skills: Interviews –User research – Interaction design – Mockup

Brief: Design of an overview of the current and potential roles of citizens in public decision-making.

Creation of multiple solutions concretely involving citizens in public decision-making.

In France, the Great National Debate and the Citizens’ Climate Convention, which both took place in 2019, have given a national dimension to citizen participation. 

Together with the design studio Vraiment Vraiment, we asked ourselves:
What would a decision-making process truly involving citizens look like on a local, national or even larger scale? Is it possible to structurally rethink the place of citizens in public decision-making? How would these changes impact the expectations and practices of public decision makers?

Rethinking the interview process

Our research begins with creative inspirations, uses of citizens conventions throughout the world and a, analytical watch.
We then contacted many actors in public decision-making: participants in the Citizens’ Climate Convention, elected officials, participation professionals, etc. We designed our interview process to cover a wide field of exploration concerning citizen involvement in public decision making

Creation of theoretical models of citizen conventions

The term « citizens’ convention », often poorly understood, gave us the opportunity to develop four theoretical convention models: the consultative convention, the deliberative convention, the direct convention and the autonomous convention.

In the first model, the decision belongs to the elected official. The deliberative convention and citizen convention explore the co-decision process between citizens and elected officials. Finally, the autonomous convention proposes an elected official as guarantor of the respect of the constitution.

The convention holder’s kit

This object is composed of a multitude of projects that facilitate the implementation of conventions at different scales of space, time and trust. The convention holder’s kit is both a window on democratic participation and a support for setting up participation processes.

The box contains a total of 66 proposals for involving citizens in public decision-making.