Symposium: Citizen Assemblies

May 30, 2023
Start: 13:00 hour
  /  End: 17:00 hour

Location: House of Conections, Grote Markt 21, Groningen.

The Wubbo Ockels School and the Public Participation Center, in collaboration with New Energy Coalition, are organizing a Symposium about Citizen Assemblies. 

We kindly ask you to register for the event, as the number of places available is limited. Please RSVP by Friday 19th of May to Confirm your attendance.



  • 12:30 – 13:00 – Walk-in with welcome drink

  • 13:00 – 13:15 – Welcome by prof. Lorenzo Squintani, director of the Wubbo Ockels School

  • 13:15 – 15:45 – Assembly in the format of deliberative discussion rounds, complemented with short presentations by Leah Henderson, Goda Perlaviciute, Wytse Gorter and Eva Rovers, inspired from their experiences with citizen assemblies

  • 15:45 – 17:00 – Close-up and drinks

  • 17:00 – End

About the Event

As we are all aware, climate change is affecting our planet’s and our own health. It is inevitable that we need another energy transition just like we experienced years ago when we transitioned from coal to gas. Unfortunately, this is not an easy task, as for instance citizens do not feel their voice is being heard by policy makers. 

Therefore, we need to establish processes and create opportunities in which citizens can share their ideas and give their advice so policy makers can construct policies that are supported by the public. One way of doing this is by organizing citizen assemblies, in which a representative sample of citizens comes together for multiple days spread among different weeks in order to discuss about acceptable future energy systems. 

In this symposium three presentations from different perspectives will be given in which the importance of citizen assemblies is accentuated.

Speakers of the event


Goda Perlaviciute is associate professor in Environmental Psychology at the University of Groningen. 

Her research interests lie in public evaluations and acceptability of energy sources, systems and policies, and which factors influence these evaluations and acceptability judgements.


Wytse Gorter is a junior researcher at the University of Groningen, at the department of Environmental Psychology. 
In June 2022 he obtained his Master’s degree in ‘Environmental Psychology’ and since then he assists in research about increasing and improving public participation processes in future energy systems.

Leah Henderson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Theoretical Philosophy in the University of Groningen.

Her areas of research expertise are philosophy of science and epistemology. She works on both basic philosophical problems and more applied topics. She is interested in the role that public participation can play in solutions to the climate problem. 

Eva Rovers is a writer and co-founder of ‘Bureau Burgerberaad’. 

Her book ‘Nu is het aan ons. Oproep tot echte democratie’ appeared at ‘De Correspondent’ in 2022. In this book Eva pled for national citizen assemblies focused on climate policy. Eva studied cultural history at the University of Utrecht and obtained her doctorate at the University of Groningen. 

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