• How to participate?

How to participate?

The Citizens' Assembly involves participants in various roles - assembly members, interest groups, experts, observers, facilitators, and group discussion leaders, as well as the organizing team. The events of the Citizens' Assembly are intended exclusively for the participants mentioned above. 

If you are selected and receive an invitation in August, you can become an assembly member. Otherwise, you can watch expert presentations and interest group discussions, as well as the results of the participants' discussions, on the Citizens' Assembly website. 

Members of the Citizens' Assembly for a Green Capital

Members of the Citizens' Assembly are residents of Tallinn who receive an invitation and confirmation to participate in the assembly. The Assembly will include 60 Tallinn residents selected based on a representative sample. This means that among the 60 participants of the Citizens' Assembly, there will be an equal representation of men and women, various age groups (starting from 16 years old), residents from all city districts, individuals with different native languages, educational levels, and socio-economic backgrounds. This way, a mini-Tallinn is formed, a diverse group of people who represent the population of Tallinn more accurately than in traditional inclusion processes.

To select 60 representative Tallinners, initial invitations to participate in the Citizens' Assembly are sent to 30,000 Tallinn residents. Invitations will be sent by mail or email in August. Those who receive an invitation must register their interest to participate at the address or phone number specified in the invitation. An algorithm will then help select 60 Tallinn residents from the registered individuals, representing the city's population profile as accurately as possible. 

It is important to ensure the impartiality of assembly members regarding the topic. Therefore, the following individuals cannot be assembly members, as they are professionally associated with the Citizens' Assembly topic and their work directly affects the Assembly's proposals:

  • Tallinn City Government employees: individuals in leadership positions and officials and employees working in areas related to the Citizens' Assembly topic;
  • Tallinn City Council politicians, district mayors, and their advisors;
  • Individuals with business interests related to the topic: owners or board members of companies with business interests in the results of the Tallinn Citizens' Assembly; lobbyists working within the scope of lobbying activities for business interests, clients, or projects related to the Citizens' Assembly topic;
  • Active interest groups: members and representatives of active interest groups, including employees of organizations participating in the Citizens' Assembly as interest groups;
  • Members of the organizing team: working groups, invited experts, witnesses, observers, and discussion leaders. 

When registering to become an assembly member, the individual must confirm in the questionnaire that they do not belong to the list of excluded individuals. In addition, the organizing team will review the list of registered individuals for the Citizens' Assembly and, if necessary, remove excluded individuals before the final random selection is made. 

Each assembly member has the right to:

  • participate in the creation of the Citizens' Assembly's common values and principles of cooperation;
  • attend Citizens' Assembly meetings and workdays;
  • pose questions to experts and interest groups within the designated time frame. Assembly members can contact experts and interest groups during Citizens' Assembly meetings or through the organizing team;
  • request additional viewpoints from experts and interest groups through the organizing team between meetings;
  • provide recommendations to the organizing team for smoother process management;
  • participate in discussions on Citizens' Assembly proposals. Each assembly member has the right to freely express their views and opinions, as long as they respect the views and opinions of others and behave respectfully;
  • request fact-checking from the organizing team regarding statements made during discussions. Fact-checking results will be presented orally or in writing to all assembly members;
  • participate in the final vote on proposals, provided they have participated in at least half of the Citizens' Assembly meetings;
  • make proposals to invite additional speakers, experts, interest groups, and witnesses;
  • make proposals to the organizing team for additional meetings and sessions;
  • keep their identity private during the Citizens' Assembly. The organizing team can disclose the name of a Citizens' Assembly member only with the member's written consent and after the conclusion of the Citizens' Assembly. 

A contact person from the organizing team is responsible for the assembly members and communicates with them throughout the Citizens' Assembly process, providing information, answering questions, and assisting with technical issues related to participation. The contact person communicates in Estonian, Russian, and English. 

Invited Experts 

The Citizens' Assembly starts with familiarizing participants with the topic to gain more confidence and the ability to formulate proposals together as a group. Experts are responsible for clarifying the topic. An expert is an individual with specialized knowledge on the topic of the Citizens' Assembly through their profession, education, skills, or experience. Their task is to convey this knowledge to the participants of the Citizens' Assembly in an understandable manner.

The organizing team compiles the list of experts and sends invitations to them. The list of experts is based on an analysis of overarching and subtopics conducted by the organizing team, taking into account the objectives of the Citizens' Assembly. The organizing team sends initial topic proposals to the experts, which are then confirmed collaboratively. It is important to rely on the expertise of the field experts in determining the information needed by the assembly members to understand important concepts, relationships, and impacts related to the topic. 

The tasks of the experts include:

  • collaborating with other experts in developing final subtopics and emphases;
  • making a presentation to the assembly members on October 7th;
  • creating written background materials and summarizing the key messages of the presentation for the assembly members;
  • providing constructive feedback to the proposals prepared by the assembly members to improve the quality of the proposals;
  • answering specific questions arising among the assembly members. 

An expert must objectively and evidence-based present the content of their presentation, ensuring clarity and engagement. Experts do not offer specific solutions. The preparation of presentations is advised by the Project Manager of the Center for Democracy within the organizing team to ensure equal quality of presentations. 

The materials and presentations provided by the experts will be published on the Citizens' Assembly website. Expert presentations are conducted in Estonian, with simultaneous translation available in Russian and English. 

See here who is making expert presentations on October 7th.

Invited Interest Groups

Interest groups include parties involved in urban greenery creation (planning, implementation/construction, maintenance) and those related to urban space usage. The latter may be organized or unorganized interest groups advocating for their interests. 

An interest group is an organization, institution, or informal group whose area of work or specialized knowledge is related to the topic of the Citizens' Assembly, or whose interests are directly affected by the questions raised in the Citizens' Assembly. The inclusion of interest groups aims to provide additional insight beyond that provided by experts, allowing participants to understand what various stakeholders consider important in urban spaces and green areas, and what developments they wish to see and why. Listening to interest groups on October 8th will provide practical and relevant information to the Citizens' Assembly and offer an opportunity to better consider solutions. 

Stakeholders who are directly affected by the topic but are not organized can be invited to the Citizens' Assembly as witnesses by the organizing team. A witness is an individual who can help assembly members better understand the topic by sharing their personal experiences or experiences related to the topic, or by helping to understand various roles related to the topic. 

The organizing team selects interest groups. Initially, a list is compiled based on the background analysis, to which input is gathered from experts on the topic, the Tallinn Environment and Public Utilities Department, and district governments. Then, the interest groups themselves are included: they are asked to contribute and comment on the list, highlighting the parties whose viewpoints should definitely be heard in the Citizens' Assembly. If there are many interest groups and not all presentations can fit in the schedule, the organizing team may involve the Citizens' Assembly members in partially making the selection. The final list describing the interest groups in a balanced way is confirmed by the organizing team and published on the website as part of the October 8th agenda. 

Based on the list, the organizing team invites representatives of interest groups to present their viewpoints and make solution proposals to the Citizens' Assembly members. The presentations and proposals of interest groups and witnesses must be directly related to the Citizens' Assembly topic, clear, and engaging. Each representative of an interest group is given an equal time of up to 10 minutes for their presentation. A contact person from the organizing team coordinates the preparation of presentations to ensure equal quality. 

All presentations and materials submitted to the Citizens' Assembly will be published on the Citizens' Assembly website. The viewpoints and solution proposals presented by interest groups will serve as input for the preparation of proposals by the assembly members. 

See here for interest group representatives making presentations on October 8th.


Citizens' Assemblies on climate and environmental topics have been occurring more frequently and effectively in recent years, which has sparked increased interest in this method. Previous assemblies have shown that being present in person is the best way to understand the essence of this novel co-creation method. 

Therefore, an opportunity is offered to observe the workdays of the Citizens' Assembly. Observers are individuals who are professionally associated with the Citizens' Assembly topic, driven by academic interest, or interested in organizing citizen assemblies. 

Observers are allowed to attend all five workdays of the Citizens' Assembly. The number of observers is limited. They have a separate table and are accompanied by a member of the organizing team who helps them understand the proceedings. Observers are not entitled to participate in group discussions, pose questions/comments in the rounds with experts and interest groups, or vote on proposals. Observers may interact with Citizens' Assembly members with the permission of the organizing team. 

To become an observer, one must send a request to the organizing team at at least one week before the respective workday of the Citizens' Assembly. The request should include an overview of the observer's background and an explanation of why they are interested in the Citizens' Assembly. 

The organizing team offers the opportunity for members of the city council, city government, employees of related agencies, and district governments to observe the Citizens' Assembly. This is done to extensively introduce this innovative method within the city system. 

The organizing team ensures that the presence and number of observers do not disrupt the open and trusting discussions among the Citizens' Assembly members. 

Journalists cannot be observers, unless agreed upon with the organizers.

Main Facilitator and Group Discussion Leaders

The flow of the Citizens' Assembly's five workdays is guided by an experienced facilitator. The facilitator's task is to steer the progress of the Citizens' Assembly, collaborate closely with the organizing team to respond to changes, and create a pleasant and friendly atmosphere during the workdays. 

The working language of the Citizens' Assembly is Estonian, but the facilitator alternates seamlessly between Estonian, Russian, and English. 

On three days of group discussions, Citizens' Assembly members are divided into ten groups, each led by a discussion leader who assists them in processing information, considering it, and formulating proposals. The discussion leader's task is to create a safe and supported atmosphere for the Citizens' Assembly members at their table so that everyone can participate, ask questions, and express their opinions. Discussion leaders ensure that Citizens' Assembly members smoothly progress from understanding the information and reflecting on their experiences to formulating solutions and proposals. 

Group discussions take place in Estonian, Russian and English. Citizens' Assembly members can choose their preferred working language for discussions. Group discussions take place according to the wishes and needs of the Citizens' Assembly members.

Contact organizers