PeopleTalk has received the backing of 'Citizens Rising' a major report which calls for a rethinking of citizenship to honour the centenary of 1916. The People's Conversation, an initiative of the Wheel , invited people throughout the country to address two questions - 'What is shaping our future?' and 'what do citizens expect and what is expected of citizens?' Over 30 group conversations took place in community centres, offices of national voluntary organisations, hotels, art centres and prisons. These conversations were diverse, reflecting the concerns of members of 15 different civil society organisations, but certain common themes began to emerge including:
- A political system that is not detached from the concerns and experience of citizens.
- Reform of government and admnistration to involve citizens in making decisions.
- A voice for citizens outside elections.
In their Forward to the report 'Citizens Rising' the Co-chairs of the Reference Board of the People's Conversation talk of democratic renewal and how citizens should be involved 'not just in chosing their representatives but in the design and delivery of public services. The report itself referred to PeopleTalk. 'There is a role for jury-style deliberation in local government as well as in key public services such as health and education.' A full copy of the report is available in www.peoplesconversation.ie