A G1000 is an innovative approach to democracy that uses sortition (random selection) and deliberation to understand the wishes and desires of a community. It is a fairer and better way to make decisions which breaks free from party politics and the four-year election cycle. We hope to hold the UK's first G1000 in Cambridge soon.
A G1000 brings a randomly-selected, representative group of residents together for one day to deliberate on and prioritise policy options and develop concrete proposals to address them.
Local councillors, civil servants, employers and members from civil society are also invited to attend and participate on the day, as equals, with the randomly selected residents. At the end of the day ten proposals are chosen to be carried forward by groups of volunteers, in coordination with councillors and other interested parties.
The aim is for a representative sample of 1000 people to gather, deliberate with each other in a respectful environment, and decide together what is best for their community. It is a way to strengthen a community and discover the considered opinion of the people. Residents are then invited to be directly involved in implementing their ideas. It's a way to do democracy differently.
How exactly does a G1000 work?
Invitations are sent out to a few thousand randomly selected residents, inviting them to participate in the G1000. Up to 700 of these residents can come along, and they are joined by local politicians, civil servants and members of civil society.
In the morning the participants discuss, in tables of four, their hopes, dreams and ideas for their community. The 10 most popular themes are selected and carried forward to the afternoon discussions.
In the afternoon people sit in tables of eight or ten and turn these ideas into concrete proposals. At the end of the day everybody votes on their favourite projects and the top 10 are selected to be further developed by interested volunteers. A series of meetings in the weeks following the assembly kick-off the implementation of these projects by the residents themselves; council and civil society are invited to assist with this implementation.
Who we are
We are a group of volunteers who think that democracy can be done differently. We feel that the current system leaves too many voices unheard, and we believe that a random, representative sample of people deliberating in a respectful environment can come to legitimate decisions on behalf of us all.
The G1000 is a project of the Sortition Foundation, an independent, non-partisan organisation not affiliated with any political party. When interacting with councillors or other politicians we always strive to achieve balance from across the political spectrum.
The story so far...
A G1000 was first held in Belgium throughout 2011 and 2012, and inspired many people to do democracy differently. In the Netherlands they held their first Dutch G1000 in the city of Amersfoort in 2014 and have held many G1000s in different cities across the Netherlands since. We think it's time to bring the G1000 to the UK.
The use of sortition (random selection) to populate assemblies deliberating on political topics is by now wide spread - you can see this map for more details.