On May 1 and 2, the Youth Development Administration （YDA） of the Ministry of Education （MOE） started the 2021 Deliberative Democracy Talent Training with a workshop under the theme of “Deliberative Democracy redeliberated in Taiwan” at the College of Social Sciences, NTU. This year, YDA not only introduced different forms of deliberative democracy to the participants, but also stressed on the diversity and originality of the variants of deliberation in Taiwan’s local socio-political context. The courses of this workshop would be divided into two types: the “organizers” and the “facilitators”.Throughout the two-day training workshop, the participants were guided progressively to learn the value and work processes of different deliberative democracy models. From problem identification, to opinions collecting, and to decision making, more than 110 participants could learn how the core values of deliberative democracy, such as inform, listening, and dialogue, to put into practice throughout the processes of deliberative discussion.
The director general of YDA, Hsuch-Yu Chen, stated that YDA was in hope that the participants could learn the deliberation-pertinent knowledge in the workshop, and they aimed to cultivate more talents in this field. The younger generation could therefore apply the methods they learned from the workshop to real-life public affairs, and foster more effective and quality discussions in the upcoming series of talks“Let's Talk” from August to October.
To encourage young people to engage in Taiwan’s democratic practices, Li-Chiun Cheng, the former Minister of Culture and the chairman of the Foundation for Future Generations, joined the Deliberative Democracy Vision Salon and had an in-depth talk with Dr. Wen-Lin Tu, the director of the Centre for Innovative Democracy, NCCU. Cheng gave a detailed account of her own experiences of and reasons for promoting deliberative democracy in Taiwan. And she encouraged the younger generation to rise up to the occasion and to play the key figures in deepening Taiwan’s democracy, meanwhile, finding their own callings. As a scholar and a practitioner of deliberative democracy herself, Dr.Tu shared her own experiences of using deliberative methods to create dialogues on environmental and energy issues. She encouraged the participants to join forces with like-minded people in the workshop and to use the deliberative methods they learned in the upcoming“Let's Talk” talks, making proposals on issues they all find interesting.
The two speakers brought the participants on a journey of pushing forward deliberation, implementing policies, and deepening democracy. They broadened the participants’ vision as well as kindled their ambitions, and laid the cornerstone for the later half-year advanced training courses on related topics, given by the YDA team in Kaohsiung. More events will come from YDA in this year. For more information, please check the official website of YDA for updates （https://www.yda.gov.tw/）.