Cooperative Discourse

Objective: Cooperative discourse is a combination of elements of mediation, of the Delphi survey and of the citizen juries aimed at solving planning assignments. It is suitable for very complex decision processes and for use with regional planning issues where latent or open conflicts exist.

Sequence of Events: The first step is to draw up a catalogue of criteria for assessing various planning options; here a mediator works with representatives of the interest groups affected. In step two experts analyze the likely effects of the various planning options in a Delphi survey. In the third and final step citizens selected at random evaluate the options in a citizen jury, with the aid of the catalogue of criteria and the experts’ analyses. The outcome of cooperative discourse is a recommendation to the politicians (decision-makers). Representatives of interest groups, experts as well as randomly selected citizens are all eligible participants.

Points to note: Combining elements from three participation processes helps to compensate weaknesses in each of these – but this also makes cooperative discourse more demanding in terms of time and energy.

Participation level Target groups Number of participants Duration/Timeline Implementation Frequency Budget
Collaboration Any Up to 100 Longer than a week Adaptable Any Medium
Organizational requirements:
  • Moderator/Facilitator
  • Protocol/Documentation
  • Project management/Event organization