Many organizations exist to develop participatory experiences so citizens’ opinions are shared with policy decision makers. The President and his Executive Branch seem pretty tuned into this thinking. Congress/Legislative Branch, however, is about a decade behind 🙂 I’m hoping Congress will treat itself to a healthy dose of dedicated sound science policy advice mixed with some public opinion in the form of a Congressional Office of Technology Assessment. We’re not reinventing the wheel. Other nations have Science and Technology Assessment agencies that pull in public participation from time to time. Our Congress doesn’t even have a Tech Assessment Agency let alone a mechanism for public input. They ought to have one. They used to have one. But I digress.
Back to defining a “participatory democracy”.
Here’s one example from AmericaSpeaks. Other organizations neck-deep in this issue can be found on the National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation website.