This trial Zoom event was not without its glitches, but as a first attempt at a public webinar it went well and we, the organisers, learned a lot (not least from the glitches) and we hope participants did to o. Bob Bollen* and Simon Sinclair* talked about the context and concept of People’s and Citizens’ Assemblies, beginning the evening with a poll that showed that most participants were very concerned about the climate crisis and worried that government was not doing enough, and that the usual form of democracy wasn’t helping – so everyone was interested in the potential of Assemblies as a better way forward. The evening was an excellent example of local green collaboration, provided some interesting questions and comments for the speakers to respond to and mull over, and was sufficiently successful as a pilot to encourage us to plan further KEF events – please watch this space. The discussion was not recorded as the speakers would prefer that you visit the K-PACE website to find out more about the concept and future K-PACE events.
Some useful websites came up in the presentations, chat box and discussion, so here below is a selection.
Last night’s host organisations:
- K-PACE, Kingston's Peoples Assembly on the Climate Emergency https://k-pace.uk/
- Kingston Environment Forum https://e-voice.org.uk/kef/
- Global Assembly www.globalassembly.org
- Extinction Rebellion on People's Assemblies https://extinctionrebellion.uk/act-now/resources/peoples-assemblies/
- Ireland’s Citizens' Assemblies https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizens%27_Assembly_(Ireland)
16 min video: https://vimeo.com/246689508
Some suggestions from the experts about what you can personally do while we wait for government action, as this came up in the Open Forum:
- Grantham Institute’s 9 things you can do about climate change https://www.imperial.ac.uk/grantham/publications/9-things-you-can-do-about-climate-change.php
- The BBC’s Ten simple ways to act on climate change https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20181102-what-can-i-do-about-climate-change
- WWF’s 10 simple ways you can help reduce your impact, and help in the fight against climate change. https://www.wwf.org.uk/thingsyoucando
- Transition Town Kingston’s Energy efficiency tips https://e-voice.org.uk/ttkingston/ttk-groups-and-projects/energy/energy-saving-tips/
- The book Bob mentioned - How Bad Are Bananas?: The Carbon Footprint of Everything by Mike Berners-Lee - sets out to give us a carbon instinct for the footprint of literally anything we do, buy and think about.
And finally -
To keep in touch with what’s going on environmentally in and around Kingston, you might like to sign up to the monthly e-newsletter Kingston Environment News at https://us2.campaign-archive.com/home/?u=4da1f647e24d941f61f13281c&id=c8806ad842
If you’d like to hear occasionally what K-PACE is up to, please tell them so at www.k-pace.uk/contact.
* About the speakers
Since retiring as an IT project manager, Bob Bollen has become fascinated by the opportunities for change that new ways of respectful discussion and decision making can bring. Working with Talk Shop, and now with K-PACE he hopes to stimulate a discussion about how we can reduce our emissions fast.
Simon worked recently as a facilitator in the field of international development, and has been involved with XR since April 2019, mainly at the local level with XR Kingston, where he met Bob, was introduced to the idea of people’s and citizens assemblies, and became involved in K-PACE. Having been sick of “democracy” as usual for years, he is excited at the prospect of finally achieving true, deliberative and community-based democracy. (A special thank you to Simon who also took care of the technical aspects of our Zoom meeting.)