All Workshops

The citizens’ assembly experience

The Sortition Foundation

In this session you will...

  • hear how the existing mechanisms of democracy are failing us
  • understand how the process of sortition works to ensure fairness and transparency
  • experience what it’s like to participate in a citizens’ assembly
  • explore how decision-making processes like this can bring benefits to many types of organisation and the wider community

An era of new challenges, new economics and new politics calls for a new way to decide how we govern ourselves. Citizens’ assemblies – decision-making bodies drawn directly and randomly from the population – are being increasingly seen as a functional, transparent alternative to the democratic systems that are currently so corrupted and complicated.

The call for a citizens’ assembly is among the demands of the Extinction Rebellion movement. But how do citizens’ assemblies work in practice? What is it really like to be part of a body of citizens, analysing facts, debating ideas and making decisions fairly? 

On the main stage at Meaning 2019 you’ll hear from Brett Hennig, founder of The Sortition Foundation, where he’ll introduce the history, concepts and potential of sortition to transform our democracy. This special breakout session following his talk will offer the opportunity to participate, with your peers, in a citizens’ assembly for yourself. You’ll understand whether or not this is the kind of government that holds the key to a better, fairer future. 

About the host – Brett Hennig

Brett is author of The End Of Politicians: Time for a Real Democracy’ – in which he makes a convincing argument for asking our fellow citizens to take a turn in making the decisions that matter. As co-founder and director of the Sortition Foundation, Brett is helping to deliver Citizens’ Assemblies both locally and nationally, and is dedicated to building an understanding of this exciting new approach to politics, through his writing, his speaking, and through participatory workshops.

Connect with the Sortition Foundation

Follow the Sortition Foundation on Twitter

Follow Brett on Twitter

Visit the Sortition Foundation website


Registration for breakout sessions will be open to Meaning 2019 ticket holders from 9:30am on Friday 25 October.