Australians coming together, ordinary people making extraordinary decisions.
1 expert witness
2 support event volunteers
6.30pm - 8.30pm, Tuesday 4th Feb
Sustainable Living Festival
@Tradeshall, Melbourne, Australia
AUSTRALIANS COMING TOGETHER
Ordinary people taking extraordinary decisions
Through the Sustainable Living Festival, the Coalition of Everyone held four mock Citizens’
Assemblies on the topics of; fashion, fire, regenerative agriculture and water.
Each assembly consisted of expert testimony and a period of deliberation, before participants workshopped policy ideas and voted upon the proposals presented to the ‘Assembly’.
AIM OF THE EVENT
These mock Citizens’ Assemblies were designed to give participants an idea of how a randomly selected, informed, deliberative assembly would function. The aim in sharing these findings is to show that ordinary people, given time and access to expert information, can come up with innovative solutions to some of the problems facing our society in the era of climate crisis.
TWO KEY DIFFERENCES SHOULD BE NOTED
a. Participants were self-selecting. While a sortition exercise was conducted, it was among self-selecting participants.
b. There was a very limited time for either becoming informed or for deliberation. Each assembly lasted only two hours, while for a truly deliberative, informed experience each assembly should last for a few weekends.
MOCK CITIZENS’ ASSEMBLY #1:
Fashion apocolpyse: How do we dress in a climate crisis?
SUMMARY OF IDEAS & FINDINGS
Labelling & standards:
Creating informed consumers - An annual Ethical Fashion Report which should include factors measuring sustainability and environmental impact on top of labour and fair wages. Information should be displayed at the point of purchase, so that it can be easily processed and identified by consumers (blockchain, to make it easy to track) and should include an “ingredients list”: VOTES: 19/19 (100% support!)
A fashion tax: Paying the real costs- A tax on imported fabric, which can be fed back into the industry either in standards and labelling, or into the producing countries (non-tradable carbon emissions or also for other things which would improve standards). Tax to be representative of negative externalities and used to subsidise ethical/ ecologically regenerative producers: VOTES: 18/19 (95% support)
Advertising standards across all media: VOTES: 10/19 (53% support)