World Wide Views on Global Warming (WWViews) – a worldwide citizens’ participation procedure regarding climate policy

  • Project team:

    Martin Knapp (Project coordination); Christiane Hauser (Conference leader); Torsten Fleischer; Leonhard Hennen; Peter Hocke; Carsten Rehbein; Jens Schippl; Nora Weinberger

  • Start date:


  • End date:


  • Project partners: 45 national institutions in 38 countries worldwide

    Cooperation partners: Institute for Technology Assessment (ITA), Austrian Academy of Science; TA-Swiss – Centre for Technology Assessment, Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences; DIALOGIK non-profit institute for communication and cooperation research

  • Research group:

    Knowledge society and knowledge policy

Project description

As the German partner of "World Wide Views on Global Warming" (WWViews), ITAS organized a citizens’ conference on September 26, 2009, on questions regarding climate policy. It was part of an unique experiment initiated by the Danish Board of Technology ( regarding the world wide implementation of a citizens’ participation procedure in advance of the conference on climate change of the United Nations in Copenhagen in December, 2009 (Conference of Parties COP 15). The project WWViews was supported by the host of the summit, the Danish minister of climate and energy, Connie Hedegaard.

WWViews is meant to gather global citizens from as many countries as possible and to give them the opportunity to discuss their views on key subjects and basic issues that were of central significance for the negotiations on the UN climate summit. Institutions from 38 countries from all over the word participated in the project WWViews and were ready to organize 45 public meetings in their countries. Within this framework the citizens had the opportunity to:

  • Exchange views on problems regarding climate change and the tasks and objectives of the UN summit
  • To phrase their own worries and expectations, as well as their demands on climate policy
  • And, last but not least, to make their worries and expectations known to the public and the participants of the summit.

On September 26, 2009, in each of the participating countries, about 100 citizens gathered for a public meeting. They were pre-informed by the national organizations on the topic in question, namely the climate issue, and, subsequently, on the subject of negotiations of the climate summit. The participants discussed a common set of questions and problems and, finally, exchanged the results of their discussion via an internet platform and also published them there.

Each partner documented and evaluated the expectations and recommendations articulated by the citizens as well as the results of votes on central aspects of climate policy according to worldwide consistent methods. The processed project results were made available to the national summit delegates and were fed into the debate at a separate event during the CO 15 world climate conference in December at Copenhagen.

ITAS had organized the German contribution to WWViews and fulfilled the following tasks:

  • Contribution to the elaboration of methods and of contents for the citizens’ conference within the framework of an international seminar during the first phase of the project
  • Contacting German experts and policy makers in the field of climate policy, continuous supply of assisting media, and public relations work
  • Permanent exchange with the Danish coordinators and the other national partners to insure the comparability of the later results
  • Translation into German and processing of the information (conventional written documents, videos) for the preparation of the participating citizens
  • Selection of a sociodemographically balanced panel of 100 citizens based on random sampling from population registers
  • Preparation, performance and moderation of the one-day citizens’ conference on September 26, 2009; Organization of the participants’ journeys and accommodations
  • Processing of documented citizens’ votes and recording of interviews with selected participants for presentation on the international project website
  • Scientific analysis of the results and preparing of a German report on the recommendations made by the citizens; translation into English
  • Release and forwarding of the resulting report to the national delegation, presentation at the climate summit at Copenhagen

Media perception of the WWViews processes:

  • Bürger diskutieren über Klimawandel (Citizens discussing about climate change). "Badische Neueste Nachrichten" no. 77, April 2, 2009, page 33
    full text / pdf
  • Kyoto-Nachfolger: Bürger können mitreden. Rat für Nachhaltige Entwicklung - News 2. April 2009 (Kyoto successor: citizens can join the conversation. Council for Sustainable Development) – news April 2, 2009
    news text
  • Interview zum Ablauf von WWViews mit Martin Knapp. Junger Kulturkanal - Sendung "KIT Intern" 7. April 2009 (Interview on the performance of WWViews with Martin Knapp. Youth cultural channel-broadcast "KIT Intern") April 7, 2009
    audio file / mp3
  • Bürgerbeteiligung Global. Projekt zur UN-Klimakonferenz geht neue Wege. (Global citizens' participation. Project on UN climate conference adopts new directions) GAIA 18 (2009) 2, page 182-184
    full text / pdf
  • World Wide Views on Global Warming. Weltweite Bürgerbeteiligung zu einem globalen Problem. Technikfolgenabschätzung - Theorie und Praxis, 18 (2) 2009, page 87-90
    full text / pdf
  • Bürger machen sich Gedanken übers Klima. (Citizens are concerned about climate) "Badische Zeitung" no. 223, September 26, 2009. Page 6
    full text / pdf
  • "Ängsten der Menschen Stimme verleihen". (Giving voice to people’s fears) "Badische Neueste Nachrichten" no. 224, September 28, 2009. Page 28
    full text / pdf
  • Erste Weltbürgerkonferenz nach skandinavischem Vorbild: 4500 Bürgerinnen und Bürger diskutieren gleichzeitig rund um den Globus die Klimaerwärmung. (First global citizens’ conference modeled on Scandinavian standards: 4500 citizens discussing simultaneously around the globe about climate change.) Campus report with "Uni-Radio Baden". September 29, 2009.
    external link
  • Interview zu ersten Ergebnissen der WWViews-Bürgerkonferenzen mit Christiane Quendt. (Interview on first results of the WWViews citizens’ conference with Christiane Quendt.) "Junger Kulturkanal" – program "KIT Intern" October 6, 2009
    Teil 1 Audiodatei / mp3 / Teil 2 Audiodatei / mp3
  • Büro liefert Hintergründe zum Klimagipfel - Die Ergebnisse der Bürgerkonferenz "WWViews" wurden in Kopenhagen vorgestellt. (The Office gives background information on the climate summit – The results of the citizens’ conference "WWViews" have been presented at Copenhagen.) "Badische Neueste Nachrichten" no. 292, December 17, 2009, page 23
    full text / pdf

Results of the WWViews citizens’ conferences:

  • WWViews citizens’ votes and recommendations – citizens’ conference Germany
    full text / pdf
  • WWViews policy report – recommendations of all 44 citizens’ conferences to policy
    full text / pdf
  • WWViews policy report – summary of and report on German results
    full text / pdf

WWViews nominated for the Reinhard Mohn Prize:

  • The project WWViews was suggested for the Reinhard Mohn Prize 2011 "Vitalizing Democracy through Participation" together with 123 other projects from 36 countries. Everybody interested was able to support the jury in its decision about the nomination by evaluating the extensively presented projects on the website.
    Homepage of the Reinhard Mohn Prize
  • At the end of August, WWViews was taken into the narrower circle of candidates for the Reinhard Mohn Prize as one of 20 projects, into the so-called Shortlist. The jurors had suggested these candidates, supported by international experts according to criteria published on the homepage. These decisions were based on the evaluations of the submitted information on the projects, and on the estimations made by registered persons.
    List of the 20 selected projects
  • Webpage with details on the Reinhard Mohn Prize regarding the project WWViews

Additional information on the project World Wide Views on Global Warming (WWViews) you will find here:

Project participants

The following staff members of ITAS have moderated the work groups of the one-day citizens conference on September 26, 2009:
Jens Buchgeister; Christian Dieckhoff; Torsten Fleischer; Oliver Hurtig; Udo Jeske; Juliane Jörissen; Martina Klingele; Simon Pfersdorf; Michael Reuss; Jens Schippl; Johannes Skarka; Volker Stelzer; Sibylle Wursthorn; Eva Zschieschang
Overall direction:
Danish Board of Technology (DBT - the Danish Parliament's Office of Technology Assessment)


Book Chapters
Vohland, K.; Knapp, M.; Patzschke, E.; Timpte, M.; Zimmer, R.
A mutual learing approach to WWViews
2015. Rask, M. [Hrsg.] Governing Biodiversity through Democratic Deliberation Hoboken : Taylor and Francis, 2015 (Routledge Studies in Biodiversity Politics and Management), 152–169 
Journal Articles
Vohland, K.; Knapp, M.; Patzschke, E.; Premke-Kraus, M.; Zschiesche, M.; Zimmer, R.; Freitag, J.; Herlitzius, L.; Kaufmann, G.; Vogel, J.
Bürgerbeteiligung und internationale Verhandlungen: Die World Wide Views on Biodiversity in Deutschland
2013. Naturschutz und Landschaftsplanung, 45 (5), 148–154 
Conference Papers
Knapp, M.; Vohland, K.; Zschiesche, M.; Premke-Kraus, M.
World wide views on biodiversity - an international citizens’ deliberation on biological diversity
2013. Frierich, J. [Hrsg.] Biodiversität und Gesellschaft : Gesellschaftliche Dimensionen von Schutz und Nutzung biologischer Vielfalt ; Beiträge der Fachtagung, Göttingen, 14.-16. November 2012 Göttingen : Universitätsverlag Göttingen, 2013, 45–58 
Knapp, M.; Weinberger, N.
Innovationsforschung und Trend-Monitoring - Fallbeispiele
2013. Fachgespräch des Netzwerk-Forums Biodiversität ’Horizon Scanning als Ansatz zur Themenerschließung in der Biodiversitätsforschung’, Berlin, 26. April 2013 
Freitag, J.; Herlitzius, L.; Vohland, K.; Knapp, M.
Biologische Vielfalt verstehen, nutzen und erhalten - Wissen schafft Handlungsräume
2013. ITA-Forum ’Innovations- und Technikanalyse im Dialog’, Berlin, 26.-27. September 2013 
Book Chapters
Goldschmidt, R.; Hennen, L.; Knapp, M.; Quendt, C.; Brachatzek, N.; Renn, O.
Deliberating or voting? Results of the process evaluation of the German WWVIEWS
2012. Citizen Participation in Global Environmental Governance. Hrsg.: M. Rask, 89–106, Earthscan Ltd 
Knapp, M.; Vohland, K.; Zschiesche, M.; Premke-Kraus, M.
World wide views on biodiversity - an international citizens’ deliberation on biological diversity
2012. Fachtagung Biodiversität und Gesellschaft, Göttingen, 14.-16. November 2012 
Book Chapters
Knapp, M.; Hauser, C.
Neue Impulse für die Diskussion um eine nachhaltige Klimapolitik. Globales Bürgerbeteiligungsprojekt WWViews
2011. Nachhaltige Entwicklung - transnational. Sichten und Erfahrungen aus Mitteleuropa. Hrsg.: G. Banse, Banse, G. [Hrsg.] Nachhaltige Entwicklung - transnational : Sichten und Erfahrungen aus Mitteleuropa. Berlin : edition sigma, 2011 (Global zukunftsfähige Entwicklung - Nachhaltigkeitsforschung in der Helmholtz- Gemeinschaft ; 16.1), 63–80, edition sigma 
Knapp, M.; Hauser, C.
Aufwändige Vorbereitungen, beeindruckendes Event - und dann? Einblicke und Schlussfolgerungen nach Teilnahme am partizipativen Projekt WWViews
2011. Partizipation in Technikfragen - Legitime Hoffnung oder bloß Illusion? : 11.Österreichische TA-Konf., Wien, 20.Juni 2011 
Conference Papers
Journal Articles
Hennen, L.
Bürgerbeteiligung global. Projekt zur UN-Klimakonferenz geht neue Wege
2009. GAIA - Ökologische Perspektiven für Wissenschaft und Gesellschaft, 18, 182–84 
Hennen, L.; Knapp, M.
World Wide Views on Global Warming: Weltweite Bürgerbeteiligung zu einem globalen Problem
2009. Technikfolgenabschätzung, Theorie und Praxis, 18 (2), 87–90 
Knapp, M.; Quendt, C.; Hennen, L.
World Wide Views: Policy Report und Ergebnisse der deutschen Bürgerkonferenz
2009. Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT) 
Knapp, M.; Quendt, C.
Neue Impulse für die Diskussion um eine nachhaltige Klimapolitik - Globales Bürgerbeteiligungs-Projekt WWViews
2009. III. Polnisch-Deutsche Konferenz “Nachhaltige Entwicklung - von der Wissenschaft zur Politik” (2009), Katowice, Poland, November 25, 2009 


Dr. Martin Knapp
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS)
P.O. Box 3640
76021 Karlsruhe