Civic Tech Lab: Climate assemblies, can they help Sweden to tackle climate change? – 18 & 20 May 2021

My colleague Sanna and I are really proud to welcome you to our 2-part lab about climate assemblies!

Climate assemblies is a method where randomly selected citizens deliberate, meet experts and develop concrete recommendations for governments. They do not replace elected officials, but because they are composed of citizens from all walks of life, research shows that they can come up with new solutions and manage to reach a wider consensus.

We start on Tuesday with everything you need to know about climate assemblies and continue with a hands-on workshop on Thursday!


18 and 20 May 2021.

Part 1. 18 May 2021 09:00-10:30 CEST [UTC+2]

What are citizens assemblies, why are they important and how can they help our democracy? Background and panel discussion. Part 1 is in English, read more below.

Part 2. 20 May 2021 09:00-11:00 CEST [UTC+2]

How do we create a climate assembly? Hands-on workshop based on the kind of assemblies you want. Part 2 is in Swedish, read more below.


This lab is part of Open Gov Week which this year is digital, wherever you are.

The lab is free to join and you will get a Zoom-link after you sign up.

register on eventbrite

The entry point for this lab

We are in a climate crisis and we need solutions!

An increasingly popular method for finding solutions are Citizens’ assemblies or panels. These assemblies deliberate, meet experts and develop concrete recommendations for governments. They do not replace elected officials, but because they are composed of randomly sorted citizens that are demographically representative, research shows that they can come up with new solutions and manage to reach a wider consensus.

Countries such as Denmark, France, the UK, or municipalities such as Trondheim and Warsaw have already organised climate assemblies and many more are currently taking place.

In Sweden, thousands participated in Klimatriksdagen’s process in 2018 where anyone could suggest, debate and vote motions that were sent to the parliament.

Our aim for this lab is to gather climate and government experts to explore the potential benefits of climate assemblies in Sweden.

Part 1. 18 May 2021 09:00-10:30 CEST [UTC+2]

What are climate assemblies, why are they important and how can they help our democracy? (with Klimatriksdagen and organisers of the Danish Climate Assembly, in English)

On the 18th of May, we are inviting the Danish Board of Technology, which led the facilitation of the Danish climate assembly, and Klimatriksdagen to present their work. In a panel discussion they will discuss the citizen-led processes they organised. What did they achieve, what are their limits? Could Sweden benefit from more citizen participation to tackle climate change? What can citizens assemblies bring to the picture?


  • Introduction
  • Experiences from the Danish Climate Assembly (15 min)
  • Experiences from Klimatriksdagen (15 min)
  • Pause (5 min)
  • Panel discussion with questions from the public (40 min)
  • Conclusion

Part 2. 20 May 2021 09:00-11:00 CEST [UTC+2]

How do we create a climate assembly? (with Digidem Lab, in Swedish)

On the 20th of May, we roll up our sleeves and put you behind the wheel. What questions would your climate assembly answer? What would be its mandate? How would you recruit the participants? How would it be facilitated?

This practical part of the lab will be facilitated by my colleague Sanna and me, both participation experts from Digidem Lab. It will be in Swedish and is designed primarily for government officials and civil society organisations that wish to organise a climate assembly. To make the most of your time, we ask you to attend part 1 or to watch the recording before participating in this practical session.

Who can participate?

All are invited and you can participate from wherever you are in the world. Note that part 1 is in English and Part 2 is in Swedish.

We want action, not just inspiration. We encourage you to bring more people from your organisation or cause so you can implement together what you have learned. We also recommend that you reach out to a local enabler or decision maker, like a local politician, who can help in making your assembly happen. Ask them if they want to join the lab together with you!



Sanna Ghotbi is co-founder and citizen participation expert at Digidem Lab. A former member of the Gothenburg city council, she now helps cities and public institutions in Sweden and around the world in designing participation processes that include citizens with the least decision making power and combining them with digital tools. She was part of the team designing the citizen assembly for the city of Madrid.


Pierre Mesure is an expert in citizen participation and digital democracy at Digidem Lab. Pierre is deeply involved in the development of the Swedish and international civic tech ecosystem, an advocate, speaker and trainer in the field of open government.

Digidem Lab is an independent democracy lab. It is currently working with cities such as Stockholm, Göteborg in Sweden or New York, Chicago and the EU commission internationally. It aims at bringing the most innovative methods and tools for participatory democracy to Sweden through an active participation in civic tech networks and international research projects such as COLDIGIT. Read more on

Open Gov Week


This lab is part of Open Gov Week 2021. Open Gov Week takes place from May 17 to May 21 and is designed for anyone who believes citizens should play a role in shaping the policies that affect their lives. Countries, citizens, governments, and civil society all over the world are taking part. See more events during Open Gov Week on their website.

Civic Tech Sweden is the growing community in Sweden for people working with technology for the common good and digital tools for community + democracy + transparency. Read more on

The conversation starts now

In this forum thread that you’re in right now we will post more information about citizens assemblies, so make sure to check back in. Feel free to ask questions in the thread as well and Sanna and Pierre will answer.

Don’t forget to sign up for the lab here:

register on eventbrite

More questions?

Write your question below or send us an e-mail!

Sanna Ghotbi

Pierre Mesure - @pierre


The pictures used in this post are taken from the wonderful documentary made by our friends at All Hands On Docs (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). Go and check it out!

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interesting feels Sweden is not on the opengovweek map

We submitted the event to OpenGovWeek, we hope it’ll be online soon!

EDIT: it is now published!

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I am immensely proud to announce the names of our speakers :star_struck:!

Kathrine Collin Hagan

Kathrine has many years of experience in participatory democracy and she was the lead facilitator of the Danish Climate Assembly! She’s been one of the key artisans behind its design and its implementation! :muscle:t3::sunglasses:

Full bio

Ms. Kathrine Collin HAGAN, MA in International Development Studies and Education Studies. Senior Project Manager in Danish Board of Technology (DBT) experienced in public engagement, methods of participatory democracy as well as local government administration and its cross sectoral cooperation. Has worked more than a decade in the administration of Danish municipalities and local committees, designing and implementing processes for civil society development and engaging citizens in areas like city planning and policy development. In the DBT, she is leading engagement processes involving both citizens and stakeholders. Coordinator of two EU-supported projects (RiConfigure and SocKETs, under H2020) and lead facilitator of the Danish Climate Assembly.

Karin Sundby

Karin Sundby is a board member and former chair woman of the Swedish Climate Parliament. Apart from her commitment with the Swedish climate movement - both nationally and locally - Karin is active as an entrepreneur with a focus on sustainability. Her background is in the field of international cooperation and trade.

We couldn’t have hoped for a better lineup to discuss this issue! I hope you all come with questions for these two incredible experts!

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We are now live! Join us on Zoom!

Or watch the live stream on Facebook (we will only pick your questions if posted on Zoom though)

The British broadcaster BBC have made a documentary about the UK Climate Assembly. It is only available to watch from the UK unfortunately but there is a clip on the website and there has been quite a bit of discussion around it that can be found online if anyone is interested.

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Thanks @Jenny for the link! It is actually possible to watch BBC iPlayer if you use a VPN that let’s you access it as if you are watching from the UK… :blush:

Thanks Pernilla, I didn’t want to assume that everyone uses VPN, but you are right.

Just realised there is also a documentary about the Irish citizens’ assembly on Youtube, no VPN needed.

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Part 1 is now on YouTube!

You can watch it here:

Here is the material we used:

Finally, the notes from four of the groups can be found in this folder. Arild will post himself the notes from the group Väst.

Thanks a lot to all of you who participated in this workshop! We hope you like it and to continue to have these discussions as early as next week to make your ideas real!

Have a nice weekend! :blush:


Thank you so much to everyone who participated in one or both of our lab sessions last week! The feedback we have received has been overwhelming. :deux_cœurs:Here are some of the comments we received in the chat and through email after the workshop on Thursday (in Swedish):

Tack så jättemycket för att ni arrangerade detta, Civic Tech och Digidem! Ser fram emot fortsättning på ämnet… :slight_smile:

Ja tack så mycket! Så välorganiserat och lärorikt!

Tack så mycket. Superintressant!

Supergivande!! Tack så jättemycket :slightly_smiling_face:

Det var ett fantastiskt arrangemang! Toppen! Otroligt kunniga och duktiga facilitatorer! Det känns väldigt bra ta det här vidare nu! Stort tack!

We are now looking forward to seeing what comes out of this and when and where we will see the first climate assembly in Sweden! Some of the participants will continue working today already we heard!
Don’t hesitate to contact Sanna ( and me @Pierre ( if you’re interested in further collaboration around climate or other citizens’ assemblies!

Here comes the presentations from Tuesday’s event that I had forgotten to attach.

Any news here @Pierre?

Hi Johan!

A few things happening on our side:

  • We’ve started discussions with a few Swedish cities about organising local climate assemblies. I don’t think any of them will take place before the election but hopefully shortly after that!
  • We’re writing a blog post about it that should come out on Civic Tech Sweden’s blog in a few weeks.
  • Me and my colleague Anna will be in Strasbourg this weekend to facilitate one of the panels of the Conference on the Future of Europe. It’s not a process that gets a lot of light in Sweden because the government isn’t keen on spreading it to citizens but it should be quite an interesting panel, 800 citizens talking 24 different languages talking about the future of the EU.

Sorry that it took so long for me to see your answer @Pierre but thanks! How about - have you looked into that? I believe it would be possible to roll out a quick digital assembly with the combined strengths in this group.

Of course, we are friends and partners with some of the organisers of the Global Assembly, we work with Deliberativa and DBT on the Conference on the Future of Europe, for instance. We would most likely have been local contact point if a Swede had been selected to be part of the Assembly taking place at COP26 but that didn’t happen. I will be watching their first declarations tomorrow.

I’m sure we could organise an assembly already this year (although we would recommend physical processes as these are now possible in Sweden) but there is no point organising one without the mandate to follow up with the recommendations they would come up with. So this is what we are working with now, convincing decision makers. Would love to discuss it with you if you see potential candidates in Sweden that we might have missed!