Victoria to convene Citizen Insight Councils


Richard Moore

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Citizen Insight Councils

In an effort to hear from as many people and different perspectives as possible, the City has partnered with Wise Democracy Victoria, a local non-profit group, to facilitate two Citizen Insight Council discussion groups.

Similar to a focus group, a Citizen Insight Council brings together a randomly selected group of 12 individuals to address a question that is central to the Official Community Plan update. But unlike focus groups, which tend to gauge reactions and feelings on specific scenarios, the Citizen Insight Council will be more conversation and solution focused. The goal of a Citizen Insight Council is that members develop guidance and suggestions for solutions to a ‘big picture’ question central to the Official Community Plan update.

Any citizen of Victoria 18 years or older has a chance to be selected to participate, providing a unique opportunity for involvement by a wide cross-section of community members.

The information gathered from these discussions will be used to help set direction and policy priorities in the development of a new Official Community Plan.

The Citizen Insight Council process is based on a format created by the Centre for Wise Democracy, an internationally recognized organization that helps to develop creative solutions for citizen engagement. Similar approaches to citizen engagement have been successful in communities in the United States and Austria. Wise Democracy Victoria facilitators have been trained by the Centre for Wise Democracy founder Jim Rough. This is the first time the City of Victoria has tried this approach with citizen engagement.

For more information about the Centre for Wise Democracy visit

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