2 nd VALDOC Summer School

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1 Invitation 2 nd VALDOC Summer School Smögen, Sweden June 10-15, 2007 Transparency and Accountability in Risk Governance & Societal Decision-making Organized by Karita Research and BMD Research within the European Union CARGO project

2 Programme Committee Kjell Andersson Project Coordinator Karita Research Britt-Marie Drottz- Sjöberg Social Psychology BMD Research Patricia Ann Flemming Philosophy Creighton University Linda Soneryd Sociology Stockholm University Christian Kirchsteiger Risk assessment EU Joint Research Centre Bronislaw Szerszynski Environment & Culture Lancaster University Clas-Otto Wene Transparency Wenergy Organizers Karita Research AB and BMD Research as part of the CARGO Project (Comparison of Approaches to Risk Governance) within the Science and Society area of the European Union Sixth Framework Programme. 2 2 nd VALDOC Summer School 2007

3 Who should attend? People actively interested in how societal decision-making can be improved by transparency and public participation. The Summer School is an interdisciplinary gathering of decision-makers, journalists, advisors, students and scientists, authorities, business and organisational leaders and other interested parties. We aim for a group of approximately 60 participants and work for the inclusion of up to 20 advanced and doctoral students who gain credit for their work related to the Summer School. Objectives and Goals VALDOC stands for VALues in Decisions On Complexity. The overall goal for the VAL- DOC Summer School is to highlight and study decision-making and to explore new procedures and new arenas for public discourse, especially in relation to complex, politically and ethically controversial issues. The Summer School is a forum for learning, discussion and enhanced understanding. We want to stimulate the flow of knowledge, ideas and interactions among participants, and thus also to inspire cooperation and new approaches to societal problem solving and related research. Themes The Summer School will address how participation and transparency link to the political system of representative democracy and how new approaches can be implemented. There will thus be a focus on transparency and accountability in governance and societal decision making. We will look at choices and values related to public participation as well as obstacles and paradoxes related to transparent information processing. In the following you find a short introduction to central themes of the Summer School. Transparency and accountability Transparency is generally considered to be a key factor in the enhancement of democratic decision-making processes. This theme will explore tools for making processes more transparent, their potential for avoiding a too narrow framing of issues, as well as providing means for enhanced participation and accountability. A specific focus will be on the transparency concept developed in the RISCOM model 1 according to which clarity in factual claims, awareness of value-laden issues asso- 1 Key references to the RISCOM Model and the VALDOC approach are given at the Summer School web site: Some the references are available for downloading. 2 nd VALDOC Summer School

4 ciated with factual claims and testing of stakeholder authenticity is achieved by the stretching of arguments. Exposing stakeholders to new perspectives requires procedures for elucidating the issues from all possible angles. Procedures for transparency creation aim to result in a fair process, where different viewpoints must be allowed in the debate. Deliberation and public participation There are several reasons for inviting the public to participate in decisions on controversial issues such as energy production, nuclear waste management and genetically modified organisms. One reason is that citizens represent an important source of values and that this basic assertion should be made explicit in democratic societies. Another reason is that a broader set of actors can contribute with important knowledge that may otherwise be left out, but which also should be valued and taken into account. This theme will concern the different rationales for involving the public and the various instruments, such as focus groups and consensus conferences, used with the explicit aim to encourage public deliberation on complex issues. Decision-making, risk management and governance Most issues of some complexity that cause public concern have risk as an essential component. There are a number of principles for the management of risk and different possibilities and limitations connected to these. Traditionally, the expert community has conducted risk management through quantitative risk assessments (QRA), but these have been criticised as not dealing adequately with uncertainties, and as having embedded value assumptions. Other principles are the precautionary principle and ALARA (as low as reasonably achievable). This theme will explore the implementation and practical application of such principles, as well as the different values and interests involved when risk management is opened up to stakeholders and a wider public. Communication and communicative tools, Journalism and lobbying Facts and values are intertwined and, as such, form the cornerstones for all conscious democratic decision-making. Both must therefore be communicated in society. This involves an interplay between many kinds of actors such as politicians, scientists and various specific stakeholders groups. The mass media have a central role in communicating both politics and science to the public, but they also set the stage where other actors must perform in order to get attention. Increasing commercial pressure, shorter time limits and more entertainment at the expense of investigative journalism are contemporary trends that form the media stage. This theme 4 2 nd VALDOC Summer School 2007

5 will ask questions about the roles the mass media plays in public discourse, and for the creation of awareness in complex issues. Special attention is also directed to other means of communication, such as the formation of pressure groups and professional lobbyists, as ways to open influential channels and provide input to central decision making processes. At the summer school, we will ask whether this may be seen as a threat to democracy or as a useful contribution. Credits A certificate for the Summer School will be provided by the organizers upon its completion. In addition, it is possible for participants to earn academic credits for their participation by fulfilling additional course requirements. Each student must seek approval for course transfer credit, as related to their field of study, at his/her home university. Tentatively the program offers 2-5 Swedish credits (2-5 poäng, i.e percent of a semester) equivalent to 3-7 credits in the standard European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS). It also offers 3 semester credits according to the U.S. higher education system. Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska is the hosting institution for U.S. participants seeking 3 semester credits. Students may enroll in Science, Media, and Risk, a course (available as Journalism (JMC 452), Philosophy (PHL 452), Environmental Science (EVS 452) or Senior Perspective credit (SRP 452)) offered through Creighton s University s Summer Sessions/Graduate School. More information about this course and how to register for these credits can be requested below or obtained from Dr. Patricia Fleming, Senior Associate Dean, at Students seeking graduate credit should also contact Dr. Fleming for additional requirements. Admission will be restricted and criteria for the selection of participants seeking credit will be decided by the organizers in agreement with Creighton University and cooperating universities. 2 nd VALDOC Summer School

6 Programme The table below gives an overview of the Summer School schedule. Lecturers, invited experts, panel discussions and group discussions aim at highlighting the themes expressed above. Discussions include problems and possibilities of the information society with respect to e.g. personal integrity, ethical standards, accountability of actors, and the enhancement of public awareness and participation in the democratic society. Schedule Saturday June 9 Sunday June 10 Start of Summer School Monday June 11 Thursday June 14 Friday June 15 End of Summer School Saturday Sunday Possibility of private booking of hotel room Sightseeing and excursion in early afternoon, start of the Summer School, welcome buffet Lectures, invited speakers, group work, panel discussions Presentations of group work results, summaries, departure Possibility of private booking of hotel room Members of the programme committee will give lectures on the following topics: Transparency and accountability, The role of values in a complex technical society, Perception and emotions, The RISCOM model of transparency, Deliberation for risk governance and Risk informed decision making. There will be top level invited speakers on a number topics including: European Experiences of Inclusive Governance, Lobbying in Brussels, Environmental Politics, Journalism and The Commercialization of Science. A detailed programme with presentation of invited speakers will be available on the web site on October 15, at the latest. The lectures will be combined with group work on selected case studies, for which materials are prepared in advance by the programme committee. The case studies need to be relevant for the participants therefore the programme committee will decide on them when the list of participants has been decided. However, nuclear waste management and genetically modified organisms are already identified areas for case studies. Different categories of participants will be mixed in the working groups. After the lectures they discuss the relevance for their own case study. We hope that the work on 6 2 nd VALDOC Summer School 2007

7 some case studies will continue after the Summer School, with newly created groups resulting in newspaper articles, articles in scientific journals or other products. Documentation of the Summer School will be made available at the web site as well as be reported within the European Union CARGO Project. Application, dead-lines and cost You apply for participation at the web site by filling in the application form and sending it by to We need your application on November 30, 2006 at the latest. Instructions for payment will follow with confirmation in January November 30, 2006 January 15, 2007 April 1, 2007 June 10-15, 2007 Deadline for applications Participation confirmation to participants Availability and distribution of study material Summer School week, in Smögen, Sweden The full cost for participation in the Summer School is SEK (currently equivalent to approximately USD). Students pay SEK (approx USD). This includes hotel room for five nights with meals (SEK 7 740) and registration fee (SEK 6 000, SEK for students). Participants enrolling in the Creighton University Summer Session course Science, Media and Risk, earning 3 semester credit hours, will pay a fee of 333 USD in addition to SEK for the academic credit. Venue The Summer School will be located at the hotel Smögens Havsbad in Smögen, north of Göteborg at the Swedish west coast ( Smögen is a beautiful fishing town at the shore of the Skagerack sea, surrounded by a unique landscape and archipelago of red granite, dark gray bedrock and lush vegetation. It can be reached by bus or car from Göteborg, which offers the largest airport in the area, i.e. Landvetter. Additional accomodation at the hotel, i.e. the weekends before and after the Summer School, can be made by direct contact with the hotel, which also welcomes family members and accompanying persons to the participants of the Summer School. 2 nd VALDOC Summer School

8 For information, please contact: Further information Kjell Andersson, Karita Research Ph: or Britt-Marie Drottz-Sjöberg, BMD Research, Ph: For Creighton University Credit, Contact: Patricia Ann Fleming, Senior Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, Creighton University Omaha, NE, USA Updated information will be given on the web site: Information on the EU CARGO project is found on the web site

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