Facilitators' Questions

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What is expected of me as a WWViews facilitator?

How will the event run? What is the program?

Practical arrangements and costs for facilitators

Who is running the event and who will attend it?

Will I be identified as a WWViews facilitator?

What will happen with the results of the event?



What is expected of me as a WWViews facilitator?

Will there be any homework involved beforehand?

No. Apart from attending the facilitator training / briefing and being familiar with the program, there is no homework that you need to do before the event.

You are not expected to know a lot about climate change.

If you want to do some additional background reading:

  • You may choose to read the FAQ’s  on the website to find out more about any aspect of the process. For example, you may be interested in how participants have been selected, or in how the methodology was designed. This reading is optional but recommended - if participants want to know more about the project they may ask you as their facilitator.
  • There is some optional background reading on climate change, which you may choose to read. The Information Pack includes a Climate Change Background Reading (about 40 pages) that participants are being asked to read. The Background Reading may help you feel better prepared for facilitating discussions about climate change but you are not expected to learn or remember everything in the reading materials. In fact, in line with the Expectations of Facilitators, which was outlined in your facilitator Information Pack, your role is to abstain from inputting your personal views on climate change during the process. It is very important that as a facilitator you also do not in any way act as an ‘expert’ on climate change issues for participants. Facilitators will be given further instruction at the briefing/ training session on how to deal with questions about fact which arise within the group, by drawing on the shared knowledge of the group, and drawing on the ‘Knowledge People’ at the event whose role it is to clarify points of fact by reference to the Background Reading material.

What will be expected of me at the event?

You will be expected to attend for the full duration of the event, which is a half day on Friday 25th from 12pm to 6.30pm and a full day until around 6.30pm on Saturday 26th. You will be asked to listen to information videos and facilitate group discussions about climate change and an anonymous voting process. You are expected to follow the program of activities during the event, and interact respectfully and courteously with participants, who will come from around Australia and all walks of life; with your fellow facilitators; and with the event organising and logistics team.

As a facilitator you are also expected to attend the facilitator training / briefing session the week prior to the event. This briefing will be very important in terms of explaining the process and the program for the event, and the details of your role as a facilitator.

Will I have to get up and speak in front of everyone at the event?

No, you will not have to get up and speak in front of everyone. Table facilitators will be expected to facilitate small group discussions at a table of about 6 to 8 people. The facilitator’s role is to help make sure all participants at the table get a chance to speak and have their views heard.

A small number of Roving Facilitators will also be selected from the group. These facilitators will act as temporary substitutes (for example if a facilitator needs a quick bathroom break mid-session), as support to Table facilitators (for example if a Table Facilitator needs support in keeping the group to the process), as go-betweens on process questions between Table facilitators and the Lead Facilitator.

We will also select some facilitators to act as reserves. Reserves will attend the training but not attend the event unless a facilitator is suddenly unable to come to the event, eg. through illness.

Facilitators will find out more about their specific role for the event after they send in their facilitator Agreement Form and receive their letter of confirmation.

What if I don’t know much or don’t have strong opinions about climate change?

It is absolutely fine to be a facilitator in this event regardless of your current levels of knowledge or views on climate change. You do not need to ‘know all the answers’. There will be dedicated ‘Knowledge People’ at the event to help participants with questions of fact or points of clarification. It will be very important that you do not offer new information, or in any way offer your views on these topics, during your table’s discussions on the day.

Participants are not being selected based on their knowledge or opinions of climate issues either. This is not an event for scientists and experts, this is an event for ordinary Australians.

Will I get a chance afterwards to let you know what I thought of the event?

Yes, the event organisers will be circulating a survey after the event for facilitators to fill in to give us information on your views.  There will also be an opportunity for feedback on the first day of the event to help us best meet the groups needs.

How will the event run? What is the program?

What will participants do at the World Wide Views event?

At the event participants will work together in small groups through different sessions, each introduced with a short video clip. They will sit together with 6-8 other citizens around a round table and have the opportunity to discuss with them and vote about certain important issues. The final session will consist of making a recommendation together with other citizens to the politicians and negotiators at the United Nations climate meeting in December. Finally the overall results will be announced, and, where possible (eg. given time constraints) the Australian results compared to those generated around the world at other World Wide Views events. This information will also be available after the event through the project website and project report, which all facilitators will receive a copy of.

As a facilitator, you will be given clear timelines, and structured activities to do with your group. Much of the day will be small group discussions, followed by individual anonymous voting (facilitators do not cast a vote). The methodology has been designed by the Danish Board of Technology, with inputs from participating international partners. Each World Wide Views event around the world will be using the same, predetermined methodology, a very similar program, and will be addressing the same set of questions at the event.

The details of the program and the themes for discussion will be discussed in greater length at the facilitator training/ briefing.

The Method

The WWViews method is a hybrid based on several decades of innovation by the Danish Board of Technology (DBT – the Danish Parliament’s Office of Technology Assessment), and by other WWViews Alliance members, in engaging citizens in political decision-making processes. The WWViews citizen deliberations will be informed by well-balanced briefing material. Scientific experts, political decision- makers, and a diverse range of other stakeholders have contributed to formulating the questions and briefing packets, which have been distributed to WWViews partners by the DBT.

Why not just run a survey? Why get everyone together like this?

Unlike a survey or a poll, this process involves provision of information to participants and discussion between participants, which gives them an opportunity to hear different opinions and learn from each other. This allows the possibility for a process of change to occur as a result of discussions, rather than only capturing pre-existing opinions. It is more similar to a jury process than to a survey.  The process involves face-to-face discussions in small groups. In some participating countries where advanced communications technologies may not be available to the organisers, this will only be possible by bringing everyone together in one location. To make the process as similar as possible in all countries, every participating country will bring participants together in one location in that country.

What is different about this process?

WWViews is the first-ever global citizen participation exercise. Citizen consultations have been tested and proven extremely valuable at a national level through two decades. During the past five years, citizen deliberations have also been implemented successfully at the European level. WWViews expands the scale of citizen consultation to the global level and attaches the consultation directly to a global policy-making process.

Practical arrangements & costs

How do I become a facilitator?

If you would like to speak to someone about volunteering as a facilitator, please contact Jade Herriman on 02 9514 4976 by the end of the first week in September. You will receive an email inviting you to become a facilitator. If you are available on the dates and for the tasks outlined, you will be sent a Facilitator Information Pack. This Information Pack includes a Facilitator Agreement Form that you need to sign and return if you would like to take part in the event.

What if I change my mind?

Being a facilitator at this event is an important and interesting opportunity. You must be committed to take on the following responsibilities:

  • Attend the facilitator training / briefing in Sydney
  • Agree to abide by the Guidelines for Dialogue, and the Expectations of Facilitators, outlined in your Information Pack
  • Travel to Sydney to attend the one and a half day long consultation event held in Sydney on September 25 and 26.
  • Cover your own costs of transport, accommodation and meals other than those provided during the event

You will be sent a facilitator Agreement Form that you need to sign and return if you would still like to take part.  If you are confirmed, the event organisers will contact you to confirm training details, and provide you with regular updates.

It is very important to the success of the event that you only send in your Facilitator Agreement Form if you are sure you are willing and able to attend.

If I am selected as a facilitator what’s provided?

Catering? For all participants in the event, including facilitators, the following catering will be provided: Friday 25th: lunch, afternoon tea. Saturday 26th: morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea, evening drinks and finger food.

The costs of any other meal requirements for facilitators, for example evening meals if you are staying overnight in Sydney, will need to be covered by the facilitators themselves (or their sponsoring organization).   If you have special dietary requirements you can let us know on the Facilitator Agreement Form.

Accommodation? Accommodation costs will not be covered for facilitators. Any accommodation requirements for facilitators need to be provided by the facilitators themselves (or their sponsoring organization). Participants will be staying in the Ibis hotels at Darling Harbour and King St Wharf as they are located conveniently close to the event venue.

Transport and flights? Transport and flights will not be provided for facilitators. You must be able to travel to Sydney independently to take part in the event. You will need to make your own arrangements for getting to and from the venue in Sydney. If you are selected, the event organizers will provide some information, such as maps, to help you with travel arrangements within Sydney.

Acknowledgement of participation? All participating facilitators will receive a letter of thank you from the event organizers on project letterhead, for their records.  We offer the option of including facilitator bios and photos on the WWViews Australia website.

Who is running the event and who will attend it?

Who will be attending the event?

The event will be attended by at least 100 randomly selected Australian adults who will be selected to represent the demographic diversity of Australia. We have not asked people their views on climate change in the recruitment process. By selecting people randomly and seeking a mix of demographic characteristics to mirror the population as a whole, we hope to have a diverse range of views represented at the event.

The event will also be attended by staff running the event, including facilitators who will be drawn from a number of organisations, but whose role will be to facilitate discussions and who will not take part in the discussions themselves. The whole event will be facilitated by a professional facilitator.

The Closing Drinks Function will be open to all participants, facilitators and staff from sponsoring organisations. In addition, external guests who are involved in the climate change issue will be invited.

What kinds of people are being asked to be facilitators?

The role of facilitators at an event like this is critical, and we are therefore asking that only experienced, reliable people with well-developed facilitation skills be recommended or apply for these roles.  The facilitators will come from a variety of backgrounds too, from the University of Technology, Sydney, our sponsors Price WaterhouseCoopers, National Australia Bank, Department of Sustainability and the Environment Victoria and other organisations with experience in facilitating discussions.

Who is the Lead facilitator?

The Lead Facilitator is Dr Kath Fisher. Kath has many years experience in facilitation and group processes, especially in community consultation, strategic planning and team-building. She has both a theoretical and research interest as well as practical skills in community engagement that incorporates deliberative processes, particularly citizens' juries. She was co-ordinating facilitator at the Citizens' Parliament held at Old Parliament House in Canberra in February and co-lead facilitator of the NSW Community Climate Summit held in Sydney earlier this year. Both of these processes involved randomly selected citizens in deliberation on nationally significant issues. Kath has also been a teacher in universities and TAFE for over 30 years in the areas of participatory democracy, group processes, politics, sociology, economics, communication and social research.

What is the role of the sponsors?

The University of Technology Sydney is both the WWViews Australian partner for WWViews International and major sponsor of the Australian event. The event is being organised and run by the Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology Sydney.

Other sponsors are providing a mix of financial and in-kind support for the event, such as staff and facilities, because they believe that this is an important and exciting event that they are proud to be associated with. Sponsors play a very important role in making the event possible.

Sponsors are not involved in designing the event program, the process or the research methodology or in writing up the results of the process.

Will I be identified as being involved in the WWViews event?

Will the event be video recorded?

The event will be video recorded and the video may be made available to the media, on websites etc. However, video footage of the event will not include identifiable audio of individual participants. If you return the facilitator Agreement Form you will be asked to provide consent to be included in video footage and photographs of the event.

Will I be identified as an individual?

You may be identifiable in video footage and photographs from the event. However, video footage of the event will not include identifiable audio of individual participants. If you return the Facilitator Agreement Form you will be asked to provide consent to be included in video footage and photographs of the event.

Comments will only be specifically attributed to you as an individual by the event organisers in print or video recording if you have specifically given consent for this.

Your details will only be made public by the event organisers e.g. via the WWViews website or to media, if you have given specific consent for this.

Will participants’ views be made public?

The results of the event as a whole will be made public. The randomly selected participants’ individual views will not be made public by the event organisers unless they give specific, written consent to sharing them, for example via interviews with researchers or with the media.

Will facilitators’ views be made public?

As a facilitator, your individual views will not be shared with other people at the event – your role is facilitating discussions of the participants through a process of small table discussions (which will not be recorded), anonymous voting and other activities.

Your details will only be made public by the event organisers e.g. via the WWViews website or to media, if you have given specific consent for this. We are asking for short biographies and a photo of each facilitator to add to our website, to help participants feel more comfortable about who will be at the event, and to be transparent about who is involved in the event as a whole.

In addition, your feedback on the process will be collected through a facilitator debrief – this feedback will be very useful for helping design future events like this. Feedback will be collated in aggregate form or quoted anonymously (ie will not be attributed to you as an individual) and may be used in the project report or research papers written about the project.

Can I tell people I am going to be involved?

If you are selected to take part in the event as a facilitator you can tell people you are involved i.e. you can tell people once you receive a letter of confirmation. You are welcome and encouraged to talk to your networks about this event, why it is being organised, and how this kind of citizen engagement process can be used to inform policy development.

What will happen with the results of the event?

How will discussions be captured and written down at the event?

The event will result in a set of outputs – the results of voting by the participants on various questions, and recommendations made by the group. These will be gathered up and tallied during the day by designated event staff or facilitators.

The details of how each session will run, and what will be required of you as a facilitator will be addressed in the training/briefing session prior to the event.

What will happen with the results?

The event organisers will input the results of the event into the WWViews international database and they will be compared to results from other countries. The Danish organisation leading the international event will present the results to climate negotiators who will be in Copenhagen in December for the international climate conference. Participants will also be able to access this information and compare the Australian results with those of other countries.

In Australia the event organisers will also report the results to Australian media outlets and will distribute the results to Australian climate negotiators.

The Australian Government Department of Climate Change has endorsed the project and will also be given the results.

All participants will be given a copy of the results, as will facilitators and sponsors of the event.

Will there be media coverage of the event?

The WWViews Australia project team includes a dedicated media officer and the event organisers have developed a media strategy with the aim of attracting media coverage before, during and after the event. Media outlets have expressed interest in the event.

What is the likelihood of participants’ views having any influence?

The event organisers will make the results of the event publicly available on the internet and will give the results to the Department of Climate Change and climate change negotiators. The Australian Government Department of Climate Change has endorsed the project in a letter of support from the Minister for Climate Change, Penny Wong. They have also committed to sending a senior representative to the event.

The event organisers have also developed a media strategy and other activities that aim to raise the profile of the event and build relationships with government representatives. Internationally, the Danish event organisers will promote the results of WWViews before and during the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference. The intention of all these activities is to ensure that governments listen to what participants have to say and take account of participants’ views in climate policy.

How will this event inform & Influence COP15?

WWViews will be unique in providing coherently informed and carefully considered views of everyday citizens to the COP 15 delegates.  WWViews has good access to the COP15 organization, because the COP15 host – Danish Minister of Climate, Ms. Connie Hedegaard – supports WWViews; and we are seeking additional direct relationships with the COP15 process. Disseminating project results to their respective national delegates directly and via the media will be the core responsibility of National Partners during the two months prior to COP15. The Danish Board of Technology will also convey WWViews results by publicizing them visually in the cityscape of Copenhagen. The ambition is that a good portion of COP15 delegates will have heard about the main conclusions from the WWViews deliberations.

Is this process part of the Australian Government’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme or the 2020 Summit or any other government consultation process?

This process is being run by the University of Technology Sydney in conjunction with many linked events taking place on the same day around the world. The event is not part of the Government’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme or any other state or federal government run consultation process.