WWViews – World Wide Citizen Participation

September 19, 2016

The WWViews method was developed to help close the widening democratic gap between citizens and policymakers as more and more policymaking takes place on the global level. Worldwide, different cultural and political traditions and practices for the involvement of citizens in political decision-making exist. At the global level, no such tradition or practice has yet developed.

International negotiations about future environmental and other issues are guided by national interests and informed by scientific expertise and advice from various interest groups. No mechanism is in place to allow those ordinary citizens, who are going to live with the future consequences of the political agreements reached (or not), to make their views heard in the policymaking process. As a result, policymakers have no knowledge about the public opinion with regards to the issues they need to make decisions about, and the democratic gap between citizens and policymakers is widening.

3 World Wide Views

World Wide Views on Climate and Energy, Danish Meeting 2012 Photo: Christophe Lissalde

World Wide Views 3.: Climate and Energy – UN COP21, Paris, France 2015
On the same day, citizens selected to reflect the demographic diversity in their countries or regions (at least 100 per country or region) attended daylong meetings, starting at dawn in the Pacific, and continuing until dusk in the Americas. The ambition was to involve 10,000 citizens in 100 countries. Citizens expressed their views on an identical set of questions, designed to reflect policy controversies at the UN COP negotiations and political discussions about climate and energy in general. The results were published in real-time via a web-tool, allowing for easy exploration and comparisons of results; one country with another, developed countries with developing, etc.

World Wide Views on Biodiversity, Danish Meeting 2012 Photo: Cecilie Neumann Hansen
World Wide Views on Biodiversity, Danish Meeting 2012 Photo: Cecilie Neumann Hansen

World Wide Views 2.: Biodiversity, UN COP 11, Hyderabad, India 2012
In 2012 3000 citizens from 25 countries took part in a global event: “World Wide Views on Biodiversity”. The project engaged ordinary citizens in the process of policymaking and awareness raising to sustain a living and healthy planet. About hundred citizens in each participating country attended day-long meetings to learn about biodiversity issues, make up their minds about them, and express their views. They all voted on a set of predefined questions and the answers were presented at COP11 in India in October 2012.

World Side Views 1.: Global Warming, UN COP 15, Copenhagen, Denmark 2009

Lars Klüver, dir. of the Danish Board of Technology moderates the debate about WWViews results with UN-officials and young climate advocates in Copenhagen in 2009. Photo: Jørgen Madsen

World Wide Views on Global Warming involved roughly 4,000 citizens in 38 countries spanning six continents. The citizens gathered in their respective nations to deliberate about the core issues at stake in the December 2009 UN negotiations on climate change. They received balanced information about climate change, discussed with fellow citizens and expressed their own views. They did so in daylong meetings on September 26, 2009.
The citizens’ results were presented at the UN Climate CUP15.