Strategies for Engaging Power - RSA

Strategies for Engaging Power

Fellowship events



On Thursday 21st November, Deliberation Gateway will join forces with RSA US to discuss effective strategies for citizen-organized deliberations to engage the powerful to ensure the judgment of the deliberation is heard and, where appropriate, upheld.

Fed up of politicians not listening? In theory, we live in a democracy and thus power ultimately resides with citizens. But—once the ballot box is safely tucked away—it's not easy for citizens to influence law makers, especially when the powerful have different ideas, or close their doors. Deliberations, such as citizen's assemblies and deliberative polls, could be a potential solution to hold the powerful to account between elections, or, more charitably, to help politicians engage with the public more effectively during their term of office. 


Some of the questions we will be discussing include:

  • Under what conditions do powerful people listen to others and act?
  • What steps can organizers of a deliberation take to ensure the output is heard, and upheld?
  • Just as a corporation or union has power and influence, can deliberations acquire power?
  • Is it necessary to have powerful people in a deliberation for it to have power?
  • Can deliberations affect the behavior of uncooperative but powerful individuals and groups?