CASE STUDY: CITIZENS’ JURY SHAPES GEELONG’S DEMOCRACY

CASE STUDY: CITIZENS’ JURY SHAPES GEELONG’S DEMOCRACY

The Democracy in Geelong (Geelong Citizens’ Jury) project was a ground-breaking engagement process – no other community had ever had the chance to influence its council’s structure to this extent.

Following the dismissal of the City of Greater Geelong Council in April 2016, the Victorian Government committed to consult the community about the structure of its future elected council. 100 randomly selected and descriptively representative Geelong residents came together over 4 days to respond to the following remit: 

‘Our council was dismissed. How do we want to be democratically represented by a future council?’. 

#MonthlyMyth: Firm positioning required before engaging

#MonthlyMyth: Firm positioning required before engaging

It’s an easy trap to fall into, and an approach that’s often taken as a matter of course – solidify your organisation’s position before you engage with any external community or stakeholders.  While this may appear (in the short term) to make your organisation feel more ready to engage, it actually undermines many of the objectives of a robust engagement process. 

New free resource: Biases that mess up your decision making

New free resource: Biases that mess up your decision making

There are many ways our brains actively work to bias our thinking and, therefore, our decision making. Each of these different sorts of biases can stop us from seeing an issue from a different perspective.

This tendency can limit our understanding of new and different evidence and therefore restrict our ability to make the best overall decision/s. By understanding these biases and using different tools to help question others and ourselves we can access more information and weigh up data more thoroughly.

So, to help you out, we’ve provided a new, free download highlighting six of the most common brain biases that affect our everyday decision making – because identifying them is the hardest part!   

Enhancing participants' critical thinking capacity - study outcomes

Enhancing participants' critical thinking capacity - study outcomes

A Research and Development Note detailing the process and outcomes of a recent study we worked on with Lyn Carson of Active Democracy and the newDemocracy Foundation has been published. 

The study considers the question - How can we enhance the ability of randomly-selected citizens in mini-publics (such as citizens’’ juries) to understand and evaluate expert evidence?

#MonthlyMyth: Warm up activities have no purpose

#MonthlyMyth:  Warm up activities have no purpose

Now and then we hear people say that what you might loosely categorise as ‘warm up’ or ‘introductory’ or ‘getting to know you’ activities are pointless exercises with no real purpose.   It is assumed (perhaps?) that they are something facilitators do just because that’s what facilitators do and they like to ‘play games, not because they have any bearing on the issue at hand or any tangible benefit to the group.

We can’t speak on behalf of all these types of activities (perhaps there are some out there that really are annoying, pointless and fluffy!); however, today, with the kind of activities that an effective, experienced facilitator might use in mind, we’re debunking this myth.

Participatory democracy: Public Sector Week ideas + Q&A

Participatory democracy: Public Sector Week ideas + Q&A

The 'Participatory Democracy - Exploring Experiences' session at the IPAA Public Sector Week 2017 featured active, experiential learning and an interactive discussion with a group of diverse panellists. 

Attendees experienced a mini, deliberative discussion, answering the question: 'what are the biggest challenges facing the public sector when it comes to gaining trust in the community?'.   The group then engaged in an energetic Q&A with the panel which included specialist consultants and public sector representatives with extensive experience in using deliberative engagement to help tackle major public policy challenges.

Facilitated by MosaicLab, the workshop saw great ideas generated and invaluable knowledge shared.  The discussion was relevant to anyone working in the public sector (and beyond), so, today we're sharing a snapshot of the ideas generated and a summary of the Q&A discussion - a fabulous, free resource for anyone interested in quality engagement or participatory processes. 

Upcoming events & opportunities across Aus

Upcoming events & opportunities across Aus

The second half of 2017 is shaping up to be very busy for MosaicLab, with events left, right and centre.  In fact, we're so busy, we have created a new events page where you can peruse all of the events and training opportunities we are currently involved in or hosting. 

There's something for everyone, and, with events taking place from coast to coast, we're looking forward to connecting with old friends and new faces right across Australia.  

From the engagement practitioner who wants to hone their skills, to those wanting to champion quality engagement in their organisations.  From those looking to network and connect right through to those simply interested in a conversation around 'doing democracy differently.  We'd love to see you there. 

#MonthlyMyth: Tables enhance conversation

#MonthlyMyth: Tables enhance conversation

We are often drawn towards what we know – it’s comfortable sticking to what we are used to doing, seeing and experiencing.  However, when it comes to engagement, sometimes comfortable doesn’t equal effective, and this month’s myth is a perfect example.

First look: New immersive deliberation training experience

First look: New immersive deliberation training experience

Earlier this year, MosaicLab trialled an exciting new training concept based on participatory learning.    Hosted by Public Libraries Victoria Network and State Library of Victoria and facilitated by MosaicLab, the experience gave participants an in-depth understanding of, insights into and skills in deliberative engagement.

Following foundational engagement training sessions, and some online learning and discussion, PLVN representatives from across the State came together to experience a mini (but very real), 2-day deliberative process.

This exciting, in-depth training opportunity is now available for other organisations to experience.