Citizens’ Council “Our Diet in Transition”

Our dietary habits are changing: a healthier and more sustainable diet is needed in Germany to ensure that people and the environment continue to thrive in the future. But what role should the state play in this? What needs legislation and what is a private matter? These questions were discussed by 160 participants randomly selected from the population register in the first Citizens’ Assembly commissioned by the German Bundestag.

The special feature of the Citizens’ Assembly lies in its openness and citizen-centered approach: the citizens actively helped to shape topics and processes. The topic was brought to life for the participants with trips to a food bank, a dairy farm and a professional cafeteria as well as vivid visualizations. In weekend-long face-to-face sessions and digital workshops, the participants discussed in facilitated groups and received key input from renowned experts on the topic. The result were nine key recommendations, which the Bundestag discussed in plenary and in the relevant specialist committees. To ensure the quality and applicability of the results, we involved numerous experts and stakeholders in the process from the very beginning.


The project in detail

  • Partner :Mehr Demokratie e.V.
  • nexus Institute
  • Institut für Partizipatives Gestalten (IPG)
  • Sortition Foundation
  • Duration :April 2023 – February 2024
  • Keyfacts :160 randomly selected citizens
  • Three weekends on site and six virtual workshops
  • Citzens could shape the agile process
  • Expert guidance by the scientific advisory board
  • Close contact to the German Bundestag and all factions

ifok designs, organizes and monitors every step of the process

Together with Mehr Demokratie, nexus and IPG, ifok was responsible for the design and implementation of the overall process. In addition to developing the topic into a citizen-oriented and politically relevant issue, moderating the plenum and working groups and managing the events, ifok was responsible for involving experts and stakeholders who presented balanced information to the citizens.

ifok services

Our successes

By commissioning the Citizens’ Assembly, the Bundestag has made democratic history! Previous national Citizens’ Assemblies, which ifok helped to organize, laid the foundation. With this Citizens’ Assembly, the Bundestag officially recognizes the important contribution of randomly selected citizens to the development of legitimate and effective political decisions.

Of the 20,000 citizens from all over Germany who were invited to the Citizens’ Assembly, 2220 registered (response rate of 11.7%). As part of a lottery, the President of the Bundestag, Bärbel Bas, publicly drew 160 participants from this pool, representing Germany’s population in terms of age, gender, federal state and size of town, educational background and dietary habits.

The German Bundestag plenary has appointed the Citizens’ Assembly and discussed the recommendations of the Citizens’ Assembly. All parliamentary groups represented in the Bundestag came together in the rapporteur group and agreed on the procedure and issues of the Citizens’ Assembly. Members of the Bundestag were heard in the Citizens’ Assembly and were able to observe the work of the Citizens’ Assembly.


Your contact persons

Jana Peters

Managing Consultant | Eventmanagement, Deliberation

Phone+49 6251 8263-122

Carolin Piras

Senior Consultant | Deliberation, Open Government and Democracy

Phone+49 6251 8263-121

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