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January 30, 2013

So say a citizens’ assembly

When the Icelandic economy collapsed, the cosy relationship between its banks and the political establishment was suddenly exposed and all public confidence in the existing system of government evaporated. The unprecedented manner in which Iceland’s new constitution was drafted is well documented and remains an inspiration for anyone with an interest in the power of citizens.  Next month, a citizens’ assembly gathers in Scotland for the first time. 


So say a citizens’ assembly

An update from the So Say Scotland steering group 

Following a run of meetings with the Future of Scotland Steering Group, in November and December, we are extremely chuffed to let you know that we are going to hold our first citizens assembly.

With support from SCVO we have engaged our co-ordinator and secured the venue.

We’ll be hosting a Thinking Together citizens assembly on February 28th in the Lomond Auditorium, SECC.

Our event will be part of The Gathering.

The Church of Scotland and The Scottish Churches Parliamentary Office are working with us to manage the participant selection and process design elements, including piloting pre Feb 28th.

The Electoral Reform Society Scotland are sharing experience from their People’s Gathering.

Ipsos MORI Scotland are casting an advisory eye over what we are doing.

As founding pillars of So Say Scotland, Prophet Scotland is working closely with Zara to co-ordinate the event and PPN/Academy of Government at Edinburgh University are taking a lead on facilitation training. 

On the assembly process itself we have probono mentoring support from Bjarni Snæbjörn Jónsson (member of The Anthill who created the assembly in Iceland) and NEF Fellow Perry Walker.

We are pleased that Olafur Breidfjord continues to volunteer for our own website and design needs, and that Willie Fleming continues to host our web presence probono as well as giving time to leading on our technical systems for the event.

However we are making this happen on a wing and a prayer, in the tightest of time-scales (6 weeks and counting).

So it will require a bevvy of collaborating partners and support to make the event the best it can be.

We will go live with this news, and our call for further help, on Monday 21st.

(we’ve website and organisational work to complete this weekend)

Participant registration and selection will start Monday 28th.

I wanted to let you all know first because you’ve been friends in following our story since last May.

The So Say Scotland team really appreciate that you’ve come this far.

We hope you will continue to journey with us.

Learn more from our new website – click here