Recommendation: We understand the request to organize the G1000 Agriculture online due to the current pandemic situation as well as the current political momentum. However, we advise the G1000 organization not to replace a face-to-face deliberation with online deliberation, as this will affect the nature of communication (see e.g., Hartz-Karp & Sullivan, 2014; Force, Sandover, Moseley & Devine-Wright, 2020). In online environments, it is difficult to replicate the natural flow of conversations that occur in face-to-face environments, because the nature of online interactions are more transactional. In the G1000 Agriculture design, a high quality of face-to-face deliberation is very important to support the creation of common ground and ownership. Therefore, considering that the G1000 Agriculture is a large, time- and money-consuming experiment that needs to be conducted under the right circumstances, we advise the G1000 organization to safeguard its key principles and values and to postpone the G1000 Agriculture until a time when face-to-face deliberation is possible again.
Aim of the next meeting: In early March, the Oversight Committee will meet again to discuss possible changes to the programme of the G1000 Agriculture, and to make a final recommendation.
Hartz-Karp, J., & Sullivan, B. (2014). The unfulfilled promise of online deliberation. Journal of Public Deliberation, 10(1), 1-5.
Force, D. N. Z. T., Sandover, R., Moseley, A., & Devine-Wright, P. (2020). Rapid Review: The Feasibility of an Online Citizens’ Assembly to support Devon’s Transition to Net Zero.