Convener's Blog 18 September 2020
It is nearly two weeks since the Citizens’ Assembly reconvened online. We were breaking new ground and I am heartened that almost every member came with us as we did so.
Since our virtual Assembly I’ve spoken to our members’ reference group and had feedback from others as well. There is a strong and consistent positive message coming back that weekend 5 was a success with the process working well despite the fact that we were not able to meet face to face. This is a testament to the hard work of the team who, over the summer months, put all the necessary arrangements in place to make sure the move to digital did not disadvantage any members. We are looking forward to seeing how this is reflected in the independent research work to be published next week.
I know members worked hard to adapt to the technology and the new ways of communicating. They played a large part in the preparations and a significant number of them worked with us in preparing the inputs to the meeting as well; sharing their experiences and contributing to the videos. The members’ reference group has been consistently helpful throughout the process; giving us advice and feedback about the plans.
This weekend was about members reconvening, reconnecting with us and with each-other, and building knowledge and confidence online as they reflected on their experiences of COVID and learned from fellow members experiences too . They were able to look back on the Journey so Far and look forward to the Journey to Come hearing from previous and new speakers as they shared ideas in responding to the impact of COVID.. The weekend concluded with members revisiting the earlier work on the Assembly vision and deciding final areas of consensus, which we now take into the next weekend to finalise, and begin work on recommendations.
We convene again online in just over two weeks, on the 3 and 4 October. Before then aspects of the assembly will continue to be promoted on social media, and the website will be updated with new materials.