On 27 February 2020, Koi Tū: the Centre for Informed Futures hosted a conference and workshop Knowledge and democracy: Mobilizing multiple types of evidence for public deliberation through ‘Complex conversations’.
The meeting launched the two-year MBIE Endeavour Smart Ideas project, the aim of which is to produce a current and New-Zealand adapted approach for deliberative engagement around complex science-related issues, for use both in decision-making in public administration as well as broadly to progress national conversation around intractable problems.
The purpose of the meeting was to bring together relevant researchers: from political scientists studying deliberative democracy and political communication; social and natural scientists whose work involves engaging with communities around science-related questions; humanities scholars in political philosophy, ethics and social impacts of technology; as well as scholars integrating mātauranga Māori with Western epistemological traditions.
The productive day started early with a series of talks highlighting perspectives (and concerns) from different fields, followed by an afternoon workshop that investigated practical questions around the design of such deliberative engagements, finishing with a series of short presentations of recent and ongoing projects.
The workshop provided the Centre researchers with a deep insight into the current state of the field, and also a network of collaborators to help develop the MBIE project.