Our COVID consultation journey: from a small initiative to the desk of the president

Chloé Pahud

Part of the Hearing every voice: lessons learned from online deliberation projects session of TICTeC Show and Tells 2021
Tuesday 20th April, 15:00 – 16:00 BST
Zoom

What will the post-COVID world look like? It's one of the key questions that arose during the first global lockdown of early 2020. Will the pandemic be a turning point, or will we go back to normal once the lockdown is over?

The French civic tech scene hoped for the former. So two organisations joined forces, invited others, and started the movement Après, Maintenant ('After Tomorrow'). The initiative was created by Marc-Antoine Guarrigue (Toguna) and Chloé Pahud (Civocracy) in March 2020 after the lockdown to bring together, in one online space, all the initiatives collecting citizens' voices to rethink post-COVID society collectively.

The core of this movement was a gigantic citizen consultation. Several civic tech companies, along with civil society organisations, started asking the same questions via different tools and platforms: what should the post-COVID world look like?

They wanted to find out about the hopes and dreams of the French public — but also, what they were willing to sacrifice to make the change happen. Almost 200,000 French citizens contributed.

There was no official mandate, but maybe this was part of the appeal. Due to the success of the campaign, the federal government under President Emanuel Macron asked for a synthesis of the results to consider as input when deciding on COVID responses and the recovery plan. The movement and the results were presented in front of the Economic, Social, and Environmental Council, an advisory body to the government.

Chloé shares best practice on how to form an alliance in civic tech over a shared cause, how to build traction and pressure, and how to get decision-makers on board. But she also details what she would do differently if she could do it all over again.

Link: Après Maintenant