The Third Demand and Local Citizens’ Assemblies

xr uk citizens’ assembly working group

We are a small group working at capacity and are not always able to respond to enquiries about local citizens’ assemblies and so have compiled this page to help you along the deliberative path you decide upon.

The Third Demand

Extinction Rebellion’s 3rd Demand is for a UK wide Citizens’ Assembly on Climate and Ecological Justice – this is what the XRUK Citizens’ Assembly Working Group is working towards.

XR is calling for this Citizens’ Assembly to be commissioned by the Government and for it to be guided by a set of BASIC standards that have been agreed by a group of international experts, XR will not be involved.

These standards are not set in stone.. but it is key that the citizens’ assembly is independent – independent of XR, government and outside interference. The whole beauty of a CA is that it is independent – a group of people from all walks of life learning, deliberating together, finding common ground and making recommendations for the common good.

CAWG and the rise of local CAs :

As a result of raising national awareness about the Climate and Ecological Emergency, hundreds of councils have gone on to declare a climate emergency.
This has led to a surge in calls for local CAs as a means of taking action on these declarations.
Beyond CAWG’s mandate for a UK-wide CA and its capacity as a group, XR Future Democracy Hub was set up as a collaborative forum for learning about different levels of citizen participation, deliberative processes, sharing knowledge, practices etc.
Several have taken place, more are in the pipeline.

Not to be forgotten: A quote from Tim Hughes, director at Involve.

“Amongst all of the enthusiasm surrounding citizens’ assemblies at the moment, the term is starting to lose some of its meaning. We’ve been guilty of this ourselves, at times compromising the precision of definitions with the hope of demonstrating the power of the model and building towards more robust processes. While it’s important that standards do not curb innovation, it’s critical that methods are not watered down beyond recognition.”

Citizens’ assembly working group – position statement

  • Beyond its own mandate, CAWG recognizes how vital participatory deliberative processes are at the local level
  • That bottom up is as important as top down
  • Encourages rebels and councils to look at other participatory engagements that are less costly, less time consuming but are powerful and involving nonetheless.
  • Citizens’ advisory groups – Citizens’ Juries – Citizens’ Panels – Citizens’ Summits – Future workshops- Local Issues Forums
  • List of deliberative methods from Involve, one of the principal practitioners in the UK
  • Deliberative Polls

Framing of the question:

Information to help with framing the question presented to the assembly.


Standards for citizens’ assemblies


A comprehensive handbook on running a citizens’ assembly for local authorities.

the power of deliberation

A compelling and powerful video and article from CNN on the America in One Room event.


A resource-packed page from Involve.

How to start a citizens’ assembly at the local level

Guide for activists : Guide for civil servants

Publicising that needs to happen around a citizens’ assembly

Reporting on and telling the story of a citizens’ assembly – RSA/ Democratic Society


OECD: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
Catching the deliberative wave.