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University of Leicester

University Road

Leicester

LE1 7RH

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Are we headed for the extinction of the human race in our lifetime?

Let's discuss it at the Citizen Assembly

Who should attend: citizens from Leicester

Why should you attend: to discuss how will climate change impact citizens of Leicester, how we can best mitigate and adapt.

Objectives: to create a document with action points for Leicester municipality.


The Anthropocene Research Group (ARC) at the University of Leicester ) https://www2.le.ac.uk/departments/geology/research/anthropocene) are forming a trial Citizen’s Assembly (CA) in Leicester to be held on Sunday November 9th 2019. ARC is an inter-disciplinary research group headed up by Professor Jan Zalaswiecki (Chair of theAnthropocene Working Group of the International Commission on Stratigraphy) and Dr Marta Gasparin in the School of Business and includes academics from the School of Geography, Geology and the Environment, School of Business, Media and Communication, Museum Studies, and Engineering.

A Citizens Assembly brings the considered judgement of citizens into the political process to supplement and/or replace existing institutions and practices that are deemed to have failed to address or incapable of addressing the issues at hand. They are formed of a randomized and representative sample of citizens in a defined community or area to include proportionate representation of age and a range of socio-economic demographics (education, gender, class, ethnicity etc.). In forming a Citizens Assembly due consideration can also be given to existing political preferences amongst the community and may include children, asylum seekers, a representative range of neuro-diversity, the homeless and otherwise ‘unregistered’ citizens.

The trial Citizens Assembly in Leicester will give members an opportunity to debate expert evidence and testimony of global warming and climate change. The CA will consider and test evidence of impending ecological catastrophe, which according to some commentators will result in the end of human civilization and even the end of the human species by 2100 if not by 2050. The Leicester Citizens Assembly will also have an opportunity to debate and consider what might be done to try and avert climate catastrophe. How can we change the way we live? What practical solutions can be imagined? When must these changes be made? What should we expect of our government, and what of the individual?

This ‘trial’ assembly has no legislative powers and will have little capacity to actually bring about any change for which future Citizens Assembly will have to be established. The trial we are running is more modest in ambition and merely seeks to test how a CA can most effectively run. Reading material will be made available in advance to those selected for the CA and members informed of the procedure and rules of conduct that will be observed during the CA. In brief, the morning of the assembly will be devoted to expert presentations and evidence, which will be subject to scrutiny and question and answer. In the afternoon, members will form small working groups to further debate the evidence and to try and move towards possible solutions. A final hearing and debate on proposed solutions will test whether a collective set of agreed proposals and/or policy initiatives can be achieved.

We are hoping the results of the trial will inform how future CA’s might best be organized for the purposes of addressing what many city councils in the UK have declared to be a climate emergency. We may also gain insight into how citizens can best be prepared for and ‘engaged’ in what are often complex arguments and controversies. Despite the resource and time-limited conditions in which this trial CA will be conducted we are also hopeful that we might all gain renewed insight into the nature of climate emergency and some innovative and creative ideas as to how we might avert the worst of the impending catastrophe, should the CA democratically agree that we do indeed face existential catastrophe ...

This event is organised in supported by the ESRC social science festival


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University of Leicester

University Road

Leicester

LE1 7RH

United Kingdom

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