Deliberative Democracy Exchange in the Kettering Foundation

During the second week of July, RACI team members participated in the Deliberative Democracy Exchange, organized by the Deliberative Democracy Institute (DDI) of the Kettering Foundation, in Dayton, Ohio, USA.

The Kettering Foundation is an organization dedicated to research, specifically focusing on citizens’ perspectives and collective action to solve problems that impact their daily lives and conditions amongst their communities.  Their research suggests that when democracy is working as it should, the following three elements align: citizen participation, communities in which citizens act to solve problems together and institutions that legitimately strengthen the work of their citizens.

At these meetings, participants attended different forums where presentations and discussions related to citizen participation took place in deliberative spaces to solve problems that affect their communities.

During the first few days, this year’s participants learned a methodology to help solve their community’s problems.  For their part, the participants of the previous year explained what actions they had taken in implementing what they had previously learned.  Both new and previous participants were able to work together in the implementation of the methodology.

In the final days, attendees participated in two forums.  One referred to issues of polarization in society, and another focused on the participation of young people. This cultural exchange between people from different countries allowed us to discover innovative ways of dealing with more or less known topics, creating an interesting dynamic for the work of the Network.