The Parliament of Nature

Kristina Lindström, Per Linde, Åsa Ståhl, Per-Anders Hillgren, Ann Light, Ida Nord, Willhelm Ast, Pille Prulman Wengefeldt (Malmö University, Sweden)

Machine learning used to bring voices from nature into participatory decision making

The Parliament of Nature brings forward voices and concerns from a wide array of actors on the planet: humans, animals, trees, rivers etc. It is responsible for making decisions about investments and development projects that influence nature or planetary resources. The voices from nature are represented by democratically-elected politicians, volunteers from civil society, and rotating NGOs, that have nature as their main concern. To earn a seat in the parliament the representatives have to spend significant amounts of time in nature and learn about the actor they represent. Machine learning will also support representations from different temporalities, such as simulations of the future or voices from past eras so the consequences of historical decisions can inform present issues.

Fluid Parliaments

Per-Anders Hillgren, Michael Strange, Alicia Smedberg, Pelle Ehn, Sofie Gillstedt, Johan Lidmark, Bjarne Stenquist (Malmö University, Sweden)

Complementary policy making through organised citizens’ platforms

Fluid Parliaments (FPs) are process-oriented constructions for doing politics on a specific theme that complement the traditional parliament. Through online platforms citizens can organise themselves around themes that concern them. The platforms can be focused on health care, school, crime prevention or environmental issues. If an issue engages a specified number of citizens the government supports the formation of a fluid parliament.


Tornado Democracy

Pelle Ehn, Michael Strange, Alicia Smedberg, Sofie Gillstedt, Per-Anders Hillgren, Johan Lidmark, Bjarne Stenquist (Malmö University, Sweden)

Re-envisaging of democratic community and practice as a fluid system modelled as a series of intersecting tornadoes

In this concept politics is based around radical mobility, providing a basis for collaborative resilience. It brings forward the aspects of issues not being taken care of within traditional systems, but also ensures that society is trained and deeply engaged within democratic relations. The human condition here is understood as one subjected to constant uncertainty, rather than grounded on terra firma. Tornado is seen as an analogy for modelling new forms of public engagement that break currently problematic and exclusionary static structures characteristic of current political systems. Everyone would be involved, regardless of citizenship or other demographic characteristics, though it would be age-restricted in that to engage in the tornadoes would require a certain level of experience. Tornadoes would be structured with a periphery and a core, where the periphery is where debate occurs, and the core is where decisions are formed.

Community Common Governance

Jörgen Andersson, Asko Kaupinen, Jerker Knape, Rodolfo Zúñiga, Ann Light, Per-Anders Hillgren (Malmö University, Sweden)

Decision-making through collaborative actions of local communities

Decision-making is devolved to local communities who get small basic resources that they themselves can use to initiate, develop and maintain local infrastructure. They could be used to build a common playground, rebuild the school or library or to initiate a street festival for increased security. The processes are built on self-organization where citizens themselves negotiate their roles and responsibilities. Each local community gets help from a paid facilitator and is able to draw on two types of municipal support – the Departments of (1) Creative Facilitation and (2) Connection. Facilitators work on inclusion and diversity. The first helps choose, employ and promote the paid facilitators for each area. The second ensures joined-up thinking on issues such as transport and environmental matters by bringing together facilitators and members of the community from multiple areas to agree on collaborative action across local communities.

1 comment

  • jmswitters

    There are some extremely interesting ideas here, however I feel that some of the ideas would have much more impact than others.

    – Community Common Governance for example is a very practical in involving the local community to address and respond to the “real” problems that they may face. It would be very interesting to combine this approach with other citizen engagement activities such as participatory budgeting that are being carried out across Europe. It would definitely further empower citizens to get involved at local level and to make a contribution to their local communities.

    – Parliament of Nature, whilst a very interesting and necessary idea, is perhaps a little too far-fetched. However, the notion of obligating decision-making bodies across Europe to take into account the environmental impact of any decisions taken would be extremely beneficial in helping to protect sustainability and to protect Europe’s biodiversity.

    – Fluid parliament and Tornado Democracy need more definition as they are currently rather abstract ideas with little information on how they could be implemented and managed. However, the concept of generating an informal discussion amongst communities is very interesting and is definitely an idea that could be matured.

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