It was initiated by the Danish Government to give citizens a voice in the crucial climate talks in Copenhagen, December 2009. Working on a model of 'deliberative democracy', 100 randomly-selected people heard the facts then talked amongst themselves, and voted on pre-set questions. On the day, the same thing happened around the world in 35 other countries.
There were great stories generated from the participants individual journey, not to mention the political implications of what they were discussing. Here's the results:
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What did we learn? Well, the participants got one of the biggest thrills of their experience during a live cross to the meetings in UK and Denmark and many of them loved the global facebook page to feel part of the wider community, some joining facebook just to be able to post.
As for media, at the time Australia was focusing on the political wrangling around the Copenhagen Climate Summit (COP16) and the news media were somewhat swamped by national politics and our role in the negotiations.
Our project, however, generated a contrast stream of stories in participants home town papers, where they were able to explain what a citizen's consultation meant for someone from Sunshine coast for examples. I actually think this is a great place to be fostering a conversation about citizens' role in the international realm, precisely because it is so close to home. My favourite quote was from one participant who said he 'used to be on the fence' but he just can't be now.
Overall, this project demonstrated how crucial it is to brief journalists in advance of a story, and keep plugging away at that explanation of what the project is trying to achieve. We continued to get coverage in the weeks following the event, when we released compiled results, for example.