Members of organized an “Apéro Votations” on September 3, 2017, in the frame of the participatory festival La Dérivée. This third event of at La Dérivée aimed at providing an innovative space for the public to get informed and actively discuss about two issues put to the popular vote of September 24, 2017. “Experts” provided the information; the “Apéro” format provided the relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

Origin of the project

The concept of this event emerged from discussions between the two project leaders, Alice el-Wakil and Vasco Gamboni. The original idea, which was to organize a dinner to discuss one or more popular vote issues in a friendly and open-minded atmosphere, developed into the proposal to host a larger-scale Apéro after Ici-La Dérivée contacted As such an event has to our knowledge never been organized before in Switzerland, the support and encouragement of La Dérivée convinced us to take this opportunity to make a first experiment of “Apéro Votations” on the topics of the popular vote of September 24, 2017.
The aspects most important to us were the following:

  • Explain issues put to the popular vote of September 24, 2017, properly (i.e. with as little bias as possible) so as to enable members of the audience to start building an informed opinion about them
  • Make an event as accessible and inclusive as possible
  • Provide a way for the audience to become active, and exchange on the issues put to the vote

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Maija Setälä on “Democracy: Bridging Facts and Norms”


Maija Setälä, Professor of political science at the University of Turku, shares her perspective as both a political theorist and an experimental political scientist on the question of the relation between empirical and normative research in (deliberative) democracy, but also on her successful experience as a member of an expert committee responsible for proposing a new direct democratic institution in Finland.

This interview was recorded in Grindelwald, Switzerland, on January 19, 2017.

Interview and jingle by Alice el-Wakil.
Music “Sunday Lovers” by Monday Night Fever.

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