Frequently asked questions
The Core Assembly
What is the Core Assembly?
The Core Assembly is a group of 100 people, who have been selected by sortition, or civic lottery, from 100 points around the world. They represent a snapshot of the planet's population. They will learn about and discuss the climate and ecological crisis, and present proposals at the COP26 climate conference in November 2021. Find out more.
How are you guaranteeing global representation in only 100 people?
We understand 100 people could never represent the richness of the human family, however we have worked hard to make sure the 100 Core Assembly members will be as close to a descriptive sample of the world’s population as possible, according to 5 variables: geography (meaning it’s weighted for population density e.g. there’ll be large numbers from India and China and fewer from smaller countries), age, gender, socio-economic background (using years in education as a proxy) and opinions on whether there is a climate crisis or not.
2021 is a year of prototyping. This has never been done before, so whilst we refine the process with 100 people, we plan to scale up to 1000-person assemblies in the future.
This year’s participants will help design ongoing processes.
Community Assemblies are designed to ensure the Global Assembly supports the greatest possible representation, as they can be run by communities anywhere in the world. Find out more here.
How were Core Assembly members recruited?
This happened in several stages (which you can read more about here)
On the 24 June 2021 we publicly ran a sortition (or civic lottery) to find the 100 locations from which we would recruit Assembly Members.
Our global delivery team then found local community hosts from the selected points on the map that recruited participants for the ‘Core Assembly’ and are supporting them through the whole process, including providing internet access and translation.
The community hosts then recruited 4-6 people representing the diversity of their community. This was mostly done by having conversations on the street, and by door-knocking, as these methods could be used consistently anywhere in the world, to make sure recruitment was not biased towards mobile phone ownership, or those who have a formal address.
On 27 September 2021 a second sortition was conducted to select the final 100 Assembly members from the pool of around 600 possible participants.
Who are the Community Hosts?
The 100 Community Hosts are community spaces which bring people together, within 200km of a map point. The 2021 Community Hosts include cultural venues, sports clubs, creative spaces, coworking spaces, youth centers, educational institutions, public libraries.
When will the assembly meet?
The Core Assembly will run from 07 October - 18 December 2021, with a total of 68 hours of learning and deliberation. It will run either side of COP26, creating proposals before and assessing the COP26 process after.
The Core Assembly process
How do you enable citizens speaking different languages to communicate with each other?
We first design processes and materials in English, which are then translated by Global Assembly partners all over the world. For the Core Assembly, Community Hosts will translate and contextualize all materials their participant will be using throughout the Assembly.
During the Core Assembly meetings, each participant is accompanied by a ‘companion’ from their Community Host organisation who will translate from English presentations (this year’s ‘exchange language’) into the chosen language of the participant.
How can people who don’t have computers or the internet take part?
Community Hosts ensure participants have internet access and technical assistance, along with translation and any other support they need.
Who’s providing the information to the Core Assembly? How are you making sure it’s not biased?
The Global Assembly information materials has been collected by our ‘Knowledge and Wisdom Committee’, made up of leading independent experts in science, economics, deliberation, learning and indigenous wisdom keepers. Information will be thoroughly checked for biases. This governance committee has also learned from the successes and drawbacks of major national climate citizens’ assemblies that have happened over the last few years.
The Global Assembly will also include speakers from groups across the world who might not be represented in the Assembly, but offer insight based on lived experience of the crisis. And, of course, a key aspect to ensuring wide representation is the participants’ own lived experience.
How will you help the Assembly to learn about the climate and ecological crisis, when many may have limited existing knowledge or formal education?
We are working with world leading educational experts on how best to create learning materials that allow all levels of literacy to understand the information. Working with Community Hosts also allows for 1-2-1 support and contextualisation of everything presented and said.
What will be done with the Core Assembly proposals?
Citizens who take part in the Core Assembly will present their proposals (via Zoom) at COP26 on 01 November 2021, they will then observe COP26 to see what the leaders do with their recommendations. Their recommendations and analysis of COP26, together with input from Community Assemblies, will then form a report to be released in March 2022. This will published for anyone to read, and be presented at international forums around the world.
You can find out more about the Core Assembly process here.
Who can run a Community Assembly
Anyone, anywhere in the world can run a Community Assembly. This simply involved bringing people together to discuss the climate and ecological crisis. Your community might be a school, workplace, society, neighbourhood - or any other group.
The Global Assembly toolkit will guide you every step of the way, including tips on how to facilitate your assembly and guided activities through which to explore the climate and ecological crisis.
Can I join a Community Assembly or do I have to run one in order to participate?
Once a Community Assembly has been established, it is up to the organisers to invite participants. We encourage everyone who is interested in participating to have a go at running a Community Assembly. There may be online events organised which you can join, such as these open Assemblies.
When do Community Assemblies need to take place?
Community Assembly should ideally take place between October 21 and mid December. All results need to be submitted by 01 January 2022 for inclusion in our final Global Assembly report, which will be released in March 2022.
I Am interested in hosting a Community Assembly. Do we have to stick to the framing question “How can humanity address the climate and ecological crisis in a fair and effective way?”
To ensure that every Community Assembly can submit proposals in a consistent format, and be included in our final report in March 2022, we encourage organisers to follow the guidance in our toolkit, which is led by the framing question above.
What is the deadline for submitting our report in order to be included in the final report to be published in March 2022.
All output from Community Assemblies must be submitted by 01 January 2022. These will be submitted online (instructions will be published on our website and be shared by email with Assembly organisers) and will form part of the information that feeds into the Global Assembly’s report.
Where can I Find the Community Assembly Toolkit?
You can download the Community Assembly Toolkit here.
Where can I find resources to prepare the Community Assembly?
In addition to the Toolkit, there are many resources available to help you. The Information Booklet is an introduction to some of the most important themes related to the climate and ecological crisis. This information booklet has been translation into several languages, available on the Global Assembly wiki. Further resources are available on the Global Assembly website at https://globalassembly.org/ga-resources
Can I translate the Toolkit?
Yes! If it has not already been translated into the most convenient language for your community we invite you to translate the Toolkit, and any other resources for your participants. If you do, please let us know so we can publish these on our wiki so that other speakers of your language can use them (whether this year or in a future year).
What are the next steps I should take after registration to run a Community Assembly?
After registering your Community Assembly you will automatically receive a “welcome email” with next steps, including instructions to download the Community Assembly Toolkit and links to further resources. From time to time our team will contact organisers with useful guidance, and our team is always available for support at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How is the Global Assembly funded?
Our pilot year is being primarily funded by 5 organisations as well as some income through crowdfunding. Our pilot-year funders are:
Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation UK Branch
Climate Emergency Collaboration Group (CECG)
European Climate Foundation (ECF)
The Scottish Government
How are you independent if you’re funded by big organisations and government?
All of our funders have agreed to the Global Assembly funding policy which dictates that no funder will have any influence over the Global Assembly. In the spirit of the Global Assembly being a bottom-up project, in the future we aim to be crowdfunded primarily by citizens.
Would you take money from anyone?
The Global Assembly will decline funding from any party whose contribution would compromise, or risk compromising, our goals and values. This includes funding from any fossil fuel company, for example.
How can an individual donate to support the Global Assembly
You can make a donation at donate.globalassembly.org. Donations will contribute to growing the Global Assembly, including supporting Core Assembly participants, to ensure that costs such as childcare and travel are covered, so there are no barriers to anyone in the world participating.
The Global Assembly team etc
What are your goals for the Global Assembly?
We aim to create a permanent global citizens’ assembly that by 2030 has over 10m citizens participating in it annually, is recognised as a powerful tool for tackling global issues such as climate change, health and inequality; is recognised by over 50% of the global population and is funded mostly by citizens’ donations.
What experience does the core delivery team have?
Collectively our team has led hundreds of deliberative processes around the world for organizations such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), World Health Organisation (WHO), European Union, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and dozens of national and local governments, and been involved in delivering the French Convention Citoyenne pour le Climat and the UK Climate Citizens’ Assembly.
How can you guarantee nations will listen?
The Global Assembly believes that power is inherent in citizens; therefore our methodology doesn’t rely on nation buy-in, although it is desired. The goal is greater international citizen activation to build people’s self-efficacy, thereby creating a more empowered global population who can drive change from the ground.
However, the Global Assembly already has support from many institutions and governments including the UN Secretary General’s Office, the UK and Scottish governments, and we hope to garner more support through COP26 and the years to come.