St-Imier 2016
Monday, June 25, 2012
Deepening Democracy Days, June 2-12, 2012

During the first half of June, political activist and writer Richard Moore was visiting from Ireland and we turned these two weeks into a project to not only provide him with a deeper understanding of Switzerland's system of direct democracy but also attempt the rethinking of the workings of democracy, civil society and the economy, looking for a consensus on a new way forward.

First we traveled around Switzerland to meet with various people able to offer unique insights into the political system, and dug deep into the psyche of Swiss democracy to look for lessons learnt as well as new ideas to be applied to deepen democracy in Switzerland, Ireland and Europe.

The weekend of June 9-10, 2012 we hosted an intensive discussion on "Deepening Democracy", exploring the directions in which democracy may be evolved. The group of people that participated was comprised of people loosely related to the Espace Noir project, people from the larger anarchist scene around St-Imier and people with an inherit interest in democracy living in the surrounding area.

All this resulted in the following diagrams and flip charts, and the emergence of the participants as the "beau-sejour" group founding a new organization that we named "St-Imier.org", with a mission to develop and search for conventions and best practices that allow civil society to better self-organize. These conventions should provide ways for different groups and organizations with an internal structure which allows them to reach consensus, to enter into a harmonization process with other organizations like that, in order to develop a larger whole system consensus. In other words, the outcome of this weekend session was that deeper democracy means democracy that relies much less on voting and instead focuses on consensus processes.

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