In "Challenges for global deliberative democracy processes: insights from World Wide Views on global warming in Australia" at the "Democratizing Climate Governance" conference (Australian National University, Canberra), Chris Riedy and Jade Herriman (Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology) talked today. He described the
World Wide Views on Global Warming sponsored by the The Danish Board of Technology as part of the COP15 meetings in Copenhagen. This was an ambitious exercise to involve more people in the processes, partly online and partly in person in Copenhagen.
Some of the issues raised, included how to take into account local differences in the way discussions are held. One simple example are different languages uses around the world. Another is that in some cultures men and women do not normally attend the same forums. Another is that some nations do not have "democracy". It would seem to me that there are some simple technical solutions to these. An online forum can provide automated language translation and that the gender of the participants need be made obvious. The word "democracy" need not be used, as many of these processes happen by consensus, rather than majority voting.