The idea to form Public district assemblies in Maribor, Slovenia is a direct result of our everyday experiences in the town and important consequences this experiences produce:
• We believe that in Maribor and all across Slovenia, various acts of civil disobedience should be followed by direct participation platforms for long term solutions development, which will change the way we think, work and coexist in a community thus improving the quality of life for all.
• We have found out that in our city there are no proper tools that would enable people to inform the city government about what the people really want and need. Public assemblies and agreements that will derive from them ARE that proper tool!
• We strongly believe that people should be the ones who decide about common public development policies in cities, towns, villages as well as in the whole country. Not various city councils and politicians, who had so clearly showed the lack of interest in people’s actual needs and desires.
• We intend to disable once and for all the arbitrary decision-making of the governing city power structures which have shamelessly exploited the entrusted people’s mandate to feed of and steal from what is our common good and thus gradually destroying our lives, environment and everything the previous generations struggled so hard to build.

The result of people’s ideas gathered on assemblies and elaborated trough the methodology of consensus can be (among other things): efficient public demands, alternative projects and sustainable views. Due to wide public support (build trough solidarity actions), this people’s initiatives will carry significant weight and will therefore be able to exert efficient pressure on the city government as well as provide a public, transparent control (and possible sanctions) if the governing structures will not consider and follow the public will.

In the proposed workshop, 3 members of Public Assemblies Initiative (Iniciativa mestni zbor) will try to directly introduce (trough a simulation of an assembly) the participants to such form of direct democracy by:
• introducing possible forms of efficient communications in group discussions / debates
• introducing the role of moderators in group discussions / debates
• introducing the practice of direct action
• introducing methods of gathering views, ideas and opinions in relation to group dynamics and number of participants
• presenting how to establish an egalitarian decision making process (reaching an agreement trough consensus)

* Public Assemblies Initiative (Iniciativa mestni zbor) is a grass root movement of politically engaged individuals, interest groups and other formal or informal organizations, who wants to co-create and facilitate the development of positive practices for a better Maribor and, through this, a better Slovenia. Despite the fact that the group is highly political (politically engaged), we have no ambitions to participate in the system of parties but to build a grass-root politically engaged movement. Our work is based on the bottom up perspective, involving all interested and active citizens, because we believe this is the only way to achieve long-term (sustainable) positive political change. Workshop facilitators will be: Maja, Aljoša and Tomaž.

Supported by Europe for Citizens Programme of European Union.

Partners
from Slovenia:
- INEPA – Inštitut za elektronsko participacijo, inepa.si,
- Studio 12, studio12.si,
- Dobrodelni klub Leo klub Murska Sobota, leoclubms.si/sl/ ,
- Društvo uporabnikov Linuxa Slovenija, lugos.si;
- Hekovnik, hekovnik.com,
- Zavod za študentske kulturne dejavnosti študentske organizacije, kiberpipa.org;

from Croatia:
- Splitska debatna unija
- HERMES – Hrvatska edukacijska i razvojna mreža za evolucijo sporazumevanja, facebook.com/HERMES.CommuniAction;

from Portugal: Sociedade de Debates da Universidade do Porto, sdd.up.pt;

from Macedonia:
- Metamorphosis, Foundation for Internet and Society,
metamorphosis.org.mk
- Makedonski obrazovani forum - YEF - Youth Educational Forum, mof.org.mk.

from Romania: ARDOR Muntenia; facebook.com/pages/ARDOR-Muntenia/115159631842108.

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