Aston University will host an event at the end of Welcome Week 2021 aimed at creating a unique learning experience for new students and others using in-depth deliberation to consider a topical social issue.
Experts from the University have developed a unique online system called the Deliberative Practice Network (DPN) which combines evidence and values to create effective decision-making.
Their system has been used for creative teaching over the past three years and is now being looked at as a tool for online democracy.
As part of this pilot project, a ‘deliberative event’ will be held in the Wright Lecture Theatre on Saturday 25 September, at the end of Induction Week, open to everyone interested in 'building better democracy'.
At the start of the day the newsworthy issue of ‘mandatory vaccination against Covid’ will be presented; complemented by talks: ‘Vaccination 101’, ‘Available Data’ and ‘Vaccine passport and live music events’. Voting and commenting on a controversial proposal will be encouraged via the DPN, and results will be instantly available. Speakers will then put the case for and against the proposal and delegates will be encouraged to debate in groups, and online.
David Seedhouse, professor of Deliberative Practice at Aston Pharmacy School, said:
“The event is open to all who wish to explore inclusive democracy, informed debate, and online decision-making. It will interest delegates from a wide range of backgrounds.
“It can be difficult for citizens to have a say about decisions which affect us so we want to provide an example of a more inclusive form of democracy, based on detailed consideration over time, rather than a one-off show of hands.”
Dr Patrycja Rozbicka, senior lecturer in politics and international relations at the School of Sciences and Humanities at Aston University, said:
“This event will be an opportunity for new students to get engaged with what we do at Aston University and to have a bit of fun, before classes kick in.
“Over a week there will be more information and discussion, culminating in a second vote on the original proposal."
Dr Killian Mullan, lecturer in sociology and policy at Aston University, said:
“This event is a fantastic opportunity for students to engage in critical, open, and informed debate on a crucial topic affecting society, helping students develop skills in evaluating competing arguments.”
You can sign up to attend the free event HERE.