A large, deliberative event to gather feedback on a broad topic, citizens' summits involve several hundred stakeholders and various methods of recruitment to ensure that the participants are representative.
Problems and Purpose
A Citizens' Summit is a large, deliberative event on a broad topic. Summits generally involve several hundred members of the public as well as public officials and stakeholders organizations. Summit organizers typically employ several methods of recruitment to ensure a wide variety of view points are represented. Experts and officials are almost always included and play a supporting role in answering questions of participants or facilitating discussions.
Summits are typically organized to inform citizens on an issue and to gather feedback or proposals. The outcomes of a Summit may be drawn up into a final report and submitted to public officials but any findings or conclusions are generally used for consultation purposes and officials are not bound to act on or implement any of the suggestions or proposals.
Origins and Development
According to a report by Julie Boivin, organizers of the Deux-Montagnes Citizens' Summit, the use of Citizens' Summits dates back to Medieval France when "it was customary for the king to invite his representatives, the clergy and the population to meet within the confines of one room for the purpose of discussing the kingdom’s financial difficulties. Between 1302 and 1789, when the last Citizen’s Summits (known locally as “États généraux”) were held in France, the king convened the population 16 times. Moreover, the convening of the last Citizen’s Summits coincided with the onset of the French revolution, proof positive that when the population takes part in governmental affairs, events of great magnitude can occur."
Participant Recruitment and Selection
How it Works: Process, Interaction, and Decision-Making
Influence, Outcomes, and Effects
Analysis and Lessons Learned
Participation in citizens’ summits and public engagement: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0020852317691117
G1000 Citizens Summit Method: http://www.g1000.org/en/method_phase_2.php