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November 12, 2019

Loss of trust: Can we thrive without trust in government?

Public trust in governments is near historic lows, as confidence plummets and belief in institutions’ basic fairness and functions erodes each day. How can we restore trust? Or should we not? Should we move trust to new social initiatives and technologies instead of the old formal bodies of government?

Participants in this debate

Toni Lane Casserly

Toni Lane Casserly

American Entrepreneur

Brett Hennig

Brett Hennig

American Author and Co-Founder, Sortition Foundation

Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein

Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein

Former Jordanian Diplomat and a member of The Elders

Ghida Fakhry

Ghida Fakhry

Doha Debates Moderator

Govinda Clayton

Govinda Clayton

Doha Debates Connector, Senior Researcher in Peace Processes at ETH Zurich

Nelufar Hedayat

Nelufar Hedayat

Doha Debates correspondent & host of Course Correction and #DearWorldLive

DeepDive 270 225

Deep Dive

Resources for educators

Our educational programs and resources draw upon the Majlis, the specific cultural tradition of Arab problem-solving venues, and engage in communal reasoning and productive dialogue. Learn how to have better conversations about loss of trust in government with our customizable lesson plans.

View and download curriculum

Can we thrive without trust in government?

Demands vary from country to country, but across the world people are fed up with governments’ failure to provide and protect basic rights—and with soaring inequality and anti-democratic systems.

The most familiar proposal comes from Prince Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, a diplomat and former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. He says we must repair trust by improving the quality of leadership, especially among young people. Brett Hennig, co-founder of the Sortition Foundation and author of The End of Politicians: Time for a Real Democracy, argues for citizens’ assemblies, groups of randomly selected citizens who reflect their communities’ diversity and make decisions in place of elected politicians. The final speaker, the late Toni Lane Casserly, argues for blockchain technologies and rallied for a movement that transforms governments into networks of communities beyond borders, arguing that we should give up on conventional governments and create transnational, decentralized systems.

Learn more

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