Co-Governing Our Commons: Local to Global Decision-Making throughPublic Deliberation

Using Public Deliberation: Co-governing the Commons

By Jan Inglis


Commons: gifts of nature & society; wealth we inherit or create together and must pass on, undiminished or enhanced, to our children; e.g. water, oceans, culture, technology, seeds etc

Public Deliberation: a process for reaching agreements by deeply considering the costs, consequences, and trade offs of various approaches to complex public issues.

…Considerations in designing deliberative processes: 

As local and global citizens, we need to take actions to care for our commons


However, before taking action, there has to be decisions to take the actions.


Decisions about actions need to include the voices of those most impacted.


Before these decisions can be made, there need to be good options to decide upon.


Before these options for solutions are identified, there needs to be shared understanding regarding the diverse causes of the problem.


Before we agree to causes and options for solutions, we need to know that different people will have different experiences about what caused the problems and how to resolve them


We need to see these different experiences as legitimate perspectives that may contribute to effective actions and solutions


Using forums designed to have citizens analyze their issues from different perspectives means we have a better chance of creating considered and comprehensive solutions together.


This is called designed deliberative democracy: it is useful for engaging local and global citizens to make agreements needed to co-govern their commons through social charters and trusts.

Commons, social charters and trusts: see Developmentally Designed Deliberative Democracy: see,,

Jan Inglis is a Public Decisions Facilitator with Global Commons Trust,

Tags: , designed deliberative democracy, local decision-making, public deliberation,

Categories: Commons, Direct Democracy, General Assemblies, Identity & Strategy, Thinking Together, Uncategorized, Working Groups


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