Recent grassroots events such as the Arab Spring, Los Indignados and the Occupy Movements have given expression to the feelings of frustration and even anger with the status quo. More significantly, these events demonstrate the power of people when unified and mobilised, as well as the growing importance of information technology and social media in enabling this mobilisation.
At a time of increasing global problems and disillusionment with government and the prevalent economic systems, stakeholder democracy offers a platform that could lend greater moral and political strength to the governments addressing the difficult decisions that need to be taken now and in the near future to ensure the viability, equitability and sustainability of life on this planet.
Stakeholder democracy is the idea that involving all participants, at every level, will result in better informed, and more thoroughly deliberated, decisions being taken. It means that all stakeholders will thereby take greater ownership of the outcome and then be active in the delivery of policy on the ground, optimally in partnership with governments and other stakeholders.
To this end, Rio+20 marks an opportunity to rethink and redefining the way in which all stakeholders engage, participate and shape decisions at all levels of government processes.
This paper explores both the best practices, and the learning opportunities within the UN and elsewhere, in an attempt to catalyse and stimulate a vital discussion on how multi-stakeholder participation could evolve in the future.
To read the discussion paper in its entirety click here.