ECAST Presentations at Dupont Policy Summit

L:R: Darlene Cavalier, David Sittenfeld, Jeanne Troy, Mahmud Farooque, Steve Sander, Gretchen Gano, Rick Worthington

Dupont Summit 2012: Pressing Issues Amid the Political Maelstrom

“A Distributed, Collaborative and Non-Partisan 21st Century Approach to Technology Assessment: From Concept to Practice”

This panel describes recent efforts to pilot a distributed, collaborative and non-partisan 21st century approach to pTA that integrates citizen participation, deliberation, expertise, and assessment into government policy making, management, research, development, informal education and dissemination at the national and international levels. It focuses on challenges and opportunities for bridging the gaps between experts, stakeholders and the general public, between technology assessment and participatory technology assessment, and between efforts undertaken by the European Parliamentary Technology Association (EPTA) and ECAST.

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Speakers:
Mahmud Farooque, PhD, Arizona State University
Darlene Cavalier, Science Cheerleader
Gretchen Gano, Arizona State University
David Sittenfeld, Museum of Science Boston
Richard Worthington, PhD, Pomona College
Mikko Rask, PhD, Finland National Consumer Research Center
Naba Barkakati, PhD, U.S. Government Accountability Office
Rachelle Hollander, PhD, National Academy of Engineering

“Worldwide Views on Biodiversity: An Analysis of Citizen Participation and Engagement in Policy Formulation

The session presented some of the preliminary findings from the WWViews deliberation, amplification and dissemination efforts.

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Speakers:
Mahmud Farooque, PhD, Arizona State University
David Tomblin, PhD, Virginia Tech
Steve Sanders, Pomona College
Richard Worthington, PhD, Pomona College
Gretchen Gano, Arizona State University
David Sittenfeld, Museum of Science Boston

Topic: “”Worldwide Views on Biodiversity: An Analysis of Citizen Participation and Engagement in Policy Formulation”

Who Comes to Citizen Deliberations on Environmental Policy?

This presentation will explore the motivations that drive people to participate in citizen engagement policy forums. We will use the recently implemented World Wide Views on Biodiversity at four U.S. sites (Boston, Denver, Phoenix, and Washington DC) as a case study. We collected surveys at all four sites designed to answer the following questions:

  1. What motivates these individuals to participate?
  2. What kinds of social activities, if any, pre-­‐condition people that tend to attend such events?
  3. Do demographic variables such as political orientation, income, education, ethnicity, age, and geographic region correlate with people’s motivations to attend?
  4. Are their regional differences in the demographic make-­‐up and motivations of people that attend?
  5. Finally, as a way of acknowledging the limits of the surveys to assess motivations for attending the event, we will discuss the barriers (e.g., technology, communication, transportation, financial resources, inadequate recruitment resources, the abstract nature of the topic biodiversity, etc.) that potentially limited access to the deliberation.

Topic: “”Worldwide Views on Biodiversity: An Analysis of Citizen Participation and Engagement in Policy Formulation”

After addressing these questions, we will discuss implications of these findings to the efficacy of citizen engagement forums such as World Wide Views on Biodiversity.

Youth Engagement with Biodiversity: Outcomes from WWViews and Amplification Projects

This paper evaluates the extent to which the World Wide Views on Biodiversity conferences held in the USA and related amplification and outreach projects achieved the desired outcome of engaging young adults aged 16-­24. A primary goal of this particular World Wide Views deliberation was to raise awareness about the ongoing decline of biological diversity worldwide to help achieve Aichi Target 1, which states that by 2020, “people are aware of the values of biodiversity and the steps they can take to conserve and use it sustainably.”1 Examining entry and exit surveys and demographic information collected during the registration process for each of the four U.S. World Wide Views sites reveals whether these venues were successful in bringing in and meaningfully engaging with a demographically representative sample of youths aged 16-­‐24. Interpretation and analysis of survey results is critical to understanding whether youth participants felt their participation was worthwhile and would eventually translate into policy action. In addition, World Wide Views on Biodiversity amplification and outreach projects such as the “Science, Policy and Citizenship Program on Biodiversity” at Phoenix Zoo and Seattle Aquarium and the “Firefly Watch” and “Five Biodiversity Quests” at the Museum of Science Boston—are evaluated for their respective contributions to youth engagement.

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