What is the biggest advantage of choosing PVE for the energy transition?
On 3 March we presented the PVE method at the Learning Platform Energy and Environment (LEO) in Utrecht. LEO was initiated by the energy sector in cooperation with the Ministry of Economic Affairs to improve cooperation between the parties involved in the energy transition. The meeting was focused on ‘smart participation’, and therefore we focused our presentation on how the involvement of diverse citizens and middle groups can work out better through applying a PVE.
First of all, we explained the attendees that PVE enables citizens to compare and choose between different policy options. It makes residents feel how it is to sit in a Ministers chair. As it proves, many citizens value to be involved in choices and trade-offs between possible alternatives of important government decisions, (which are often not debated during election campaigns).
Secondly, PVE is designed in an accessible manner that allows many people to participate, which would not otherwise do so. Participants generally spend 20 to 30 minutes submitting their choices, and the respondents can choose themselves when and where they conduct the PVE. As a result of the low entry barriers not only the passionate people but a more diverse set of citizens can participate in the assessment of public policies. Thus bringing many, diverse and nuanced voices into being.
Dilemma between inclusiveness and complexity
The discussion with the attendees eventually circled around the dilemma between inclusiveness and complexity. Do we simplify the trade-off question as much as possible in order to reach a larger group or do we depict the complexity of reality as much as possible in order to make the results more operational? There is no easy answer to that question and it depends largely on the case and question at hand. Nevertheless, to find a solution for this dilemma will be one of our focal points in the coming months. One thing is clear though, without weighting in on inclusiveness, the picture on policy preferences will be incomplete and a lot of crucial voices and opinions will be missing.
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