Category Archives: Press release

WWViews Newsletter: COP21 in Paris

Newsletter no. 28, November 26, 2015

Dear WWViews partners and colleagues,

This Newsletter is addressed to all partners in the WWViews Alliance to inform about WWViews on Climate and Energy activities at COP21 in Paris.

COP21 in Paris
COP21 is about to start, and there will be several WWViews activities in Paris in the coming two weeks, including 4 side events dedicated to WWViews. The first WWViews side event (organized by UNFCCC) will take place on 30 November (18.30 CET). A program for this event is available here. Here you can also find information about our side events on 1, 4 and 9 December and other dissemination activities during the COP. We also hope to publish a live streaming link, when it is made available.

Please share this information with colleagues and COP delegations from your country.

We will be active on social media during the COP21, and post daily updates on our efforts. Please help us spread the word and use this window of opportunity to share and communicate the views of the citizens. Follow us on Twitter @WWViews and #WWViews or Facebook, and help us become one of the top tweets during COP21!

At the WWViews on Climate and Energy website you can also read about previous dissemination activities at the Bonn climate negotiation and the UN General Assembly.

If you will be at the COP, please let us know ( And please come and spend some time with us after each of our events so we can share and discuss COP plans and activities. We also have a WWViews stand at the French Pavillion in Blue Zone where you can come and meet us.

For those of you who will be in Paris, there will be a “solutions oriented” visitor center at the Grand Palais (from Dec 4 to Dec 11). Visitors will be invited to download a Flashpoll app (free) and vote on some of the WWViews questions plus additional ones. Please, spread the word!

Practical COP21 information is available at

Citizen Participation in the Paris Agreement?
We have looked at the draft Paris decision text and found a few places where reference to citizen participation could be inserted. We have prepared a proposal (Password: cac-uc-yia) for insertions (in track changes), which we encourage you to share with delegates from your country. We have been, and will be sharing it with delegates and others that may wish to support our proposal. The full draft decision text is available here:

With greetings from the WWViews on Climate and Energy coordination team

Bjørn Bedsted, Global Coordinator of WWViews

World Wide Views on Climate and Energy is coordinated by the Danish Board of Technology in collaboration with Missions Publiques and the French National Commission for Public Debate – and co-initiated by the UNFCCC
The Danish Board of Technology: Toldbodgade 12, 1253 Copenhagen K, DK-Denmark
Contact: t: +45 3332 0503 , e:

World Wide Views results Report Official Launch


Organized by the Permanent Mission of France to the United Nations in collaboration with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Secretariat

Saturday, September 26th 2015, 3pm-5pm

NEW YORK, United Nations, North Lawn UN Building, Conference Room 6

  • Christian Leyrit, President of the French National Commission for Public Debate,
  • Björn Bedsted, Head of the Danish Board of Technology International,
  • Yves Mathieu, Missions Publiques agency CEO,
  • Ms. Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
  • Ms. Ségolène Royal, Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, France
  • Ms. Hakima El Haite, Delegate Minister to the Minister of Energy, Mines, Water and Environment, in charge of Environment, Morocco
  • Ms. Annick Girardin, Secretary of State for Development and Francophony, to the French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, France
  • Ms. Karen Florini, Deputy Special Envoy for Climate Change at the U.S. Department of State
  • Mr. Ronald Jumeau, Seychelles Ambassador for Climate Change and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) issues
  • Mr. Gérard Mestrallet, ENGIE CEO, member of Caring for Climate for Global Compact and Business Dialogue moderator
  • Mr. Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, Vice-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 

Giving everyday citizens a voice in global policy decisions

Giving everyday citizens a voice in global policy decisions
Posted: May 01, 2015

Eric Sheptock never thought anyone cared about his take on biodiversity. After all, he wasn’t a scientist – he was a homelessness advocate living in a shelter himself. But when he was approached to take part in the World Wide Views on Biodiversity in 2012, Sheptock was excited to share his opinions and feel like an important part of the process.

It’s that kind of diverse citizen input that organizers are seeking for the next WWViews event, this time on climate change and energy. It will be a one-day event that rolls out in time zones around the world on June 6, with more than 5,000 citizens and 50 countries participating.

It begins at dawn in the Pacific Islands and heads west until ending at dusk at ASU’s Consortium for Science, Policy, and Outcomes. The views will be incorporated into the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris in December.

Finding a truly representative group of citizens to participate is a challenge. In Arizona, for example, the 100-person group will need to include 14 people who don’t have a high school diploma to reflect the educational demographics identified by the 2010 U.S. Census. When the goal is to get input from a truly representative citizen group, those opinions count as much as anyone else’s.

“Even if someone hasn’t finished high school, he or she is still a citizen of this particular geography. They have their views, and they may be different than those embraced by the educated community, but that doesn’t mean those views should be neglected,” said Netra Chhetri, who has long supported involving all citizens in the planning and development of policies that they will ultimately have to live with.

Chhetri, associate professor with the Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes and senior sustainability scientist with the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, is a WWViews project director.

“We want to honor the multiple views about climate and energy because the policy or outcome of this UN framework should be useful for everybody,” Chhetri said.

Perhaps just as valuable as providing genuine citizen input to United Nations proceedings, however, is the impact of the deliberation experience on the individual participants, young and old.

“They will sit with five fellow citizens with different backgrounds and ethnicities for eight hours to deliberate and listen to others. Think of the possible empowerment that might happen while listening to others and having others listen to you,” Chhetri said.

After the 2012 WWViews on Biodiversity, for example, one 82-year-old woman came up and hugged Chhetri. She was grateful that the university and the UN still cared about her experience and insight.

Another woman who participated in the 2009 WWViews on Global Warming couldn’t read or write. She was so honored when she received the information booklet in the mail from a university – a place where she had never before set foot – that she asked her daughter to take the information to her middle school to discuss it with her teacher and class and get recommendations for what to say at the event.

“You not only educated an illiterate woman, you have excited and empowered her,” Chhetri said. “And because of her inability to read, she was compelled to pass this to a new generation and her class. One thing touched two generations.”

Mahmud Farooque, associate director of the consortium’s Washington, D.C., office and another WWViews project manager, agreed that the long-term benefits of the experience are immeasurable.

“It’s not just one day, one event,” Farooque said. “It has a multiplier effect in terms of getting people informed, engaged, and thinking more collectively about these things.”

Standard approaches to outreach, however, such as listservs, posters and pamphlets, frequently fail when attempting to engage lower-income, illiterate or non-English-speaking citizens. Chhetri and his colleagues had to figure out different ways to reach those people and persuade them to participate, including sending fliers in handwritten envelopes to low-income neighborhoods, advertising on Telemundo and the Craigslist job section, and speaking to people at homeless shelters, public markets and international grocery stores. Talking with people, they’re able to emphasize that the event is for non-experts, who don’t need any specific science or current-events knowledge, to allay any potential fears of being embarrassed.

In addition to the pamphlet mailed out before the event, which is available in multiple languages, participants watch short videos to bring them up to speed on whatever issues they will deliberate. A trained facilitator makes sure that all participants get the same amount of time to talk before each person votes individually for what he or she believes is the best answer to various questions. The results are published immediately on a Web platform.

“Participants can see how their answers compare with those of citizens around the world, which is a particularly powerful experience for citizens in non-democratic countries,” Farooque said.

Participants with a variety of incomes, education levels and ethnic backgrounds, from both rural and urban areas, are still needed for the upcoming event in Tempe on June 6. The project managers are hoping that the wider ASU community might be able to provide connections to those who might be a good fit. The daylong event includes lunch and a $100 stipend, funded by ASU’s School of Sustainability. Additional stipends are also available for transportation to help meet the demographic requirements.

For more information or to apply, please visit the CSPO WWViews webpage at
Jennifer Pillen Banks,
The Center for Nanotechnology in Society

U.S. group releases report on citizen consultation project

For Immediate Release

Engaging the public in science and technology assessment

US Group releases report on a large-scale citizen consultation project 

 December 6, 2012. Washington – The “p” in “pTA” emphasizes that the people who fund technology development (through taxes and consumer purchases), and who live with its positive and negative consequences, but are not otherwise formally engaged through advocacy, can and should play a role in technology assessment (TA).  While some advocates for TA called for the inclusion of participatory practices from the beginnings of the field’s evolution in the United States, action to implement this idea did not begin until the late 1980s, largely in Europe.

In society at large, however, participatory practices have expanded considerably over the past two decades in relation to science and technology in particular, and social decision-making in general.  Seeing the need for pTA and some recognition of its value in an environment where prospects for major initiatives are remote, five organizations (the Museum of Science, Boston, the Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes of Arizona State University, the Loka Institute, Science Cheerleader, and the Science and Technology Innovation Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars) formed the Expert and Citizen Assessment of Science and Technology (ECAST) network in 2010.

ECAST was officially launched at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars on April 28, 2010, where Loka Institute founder Richard Sclove presented his report Reinventing Technology Assessment:  A 21st Century Model. The network’s first large scale project was coordinating the U.S. component of World Wide Views on Biodiversity, a global citizen consultation held in 25 countries on September 15, 2012 that provided input to the Eleventh Council of Parties of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity held the following month.

Report from that project, Technology Assessment and Public Participation: From TA to pTA will be released at a special briefing event on Dec. 6, 2012 in the fifth floor conference room at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, DC.  It will address the state of pTA in the U.S. with some reference to other countries, and focus in particular on WWViews as a case study to explore the strategies and capabilities of ECAST addressing the question: What role can a distributed network play in conducting and institutionalizing pTA in the U.S.?

Speakers: Richard Worthington, Professor of Politics and Chair of the Program in Public Policy Analysis, Pomona College will lead the presentation supported by ECAST colleagues Darlene Cavalier (Science Cheerleader), David Sittenfeld (Museum of Science, Boston) and Gretchen Gano (Arizona State University, UMass Amherst).  David Rejeski, Director, Science & Technology Innovation Program, Woodrow Wilson Center will moderate the discussions, which will include comments from Tim Persons, Chief Scientist, Government Accountability Office (GAO) and Mikko Rask, Head of Research, National Consumer Research Centre, Finland.

To RSVP for the event, please visit:


Founded in 2010 as a response to a call to use “citizen participation, collaboration and expert analysis to inform and improve decision-making on issues involving science and technology”, ECAST is a collaboration among university, informal science education, and policy research partners to establish a non-partisan, independent, flexible, and proactive technology assessment capability in the United States. The Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes at Arizona State University, Loka Institute, Science Cheerleader, Museum of Science Boston, and the Science and Technology Innovation Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars are its founding members.

Darlene Cavalier, 267-253-1310

Expert & Citizen Assessment of Science & Technology (ECAST)