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Thought Piece | Humanizing Our Political Spaces

Chiara Rosselli, Executive Director, APROPOS Group

The stigma around the political profession makes it comfortable for us to overlook the limitations of the structures which politicians must navigate once they are elected and the profound personal challenges inherent to their role.

Working with politicians daily, has given me a chance to internalize a deeply-rooted understanding of politicians as human beings, first and foremost.

The experience of extreme polarization and toxic political discourse has marked many of us working in the political sector, and the methods we set out to develop with APROPOS are a reaction to this very culture.

We find ourselves quite often questioning how we expect a more humane political culture to emerge if we don't invest in humanizing our political spaces and processes.

One of the known factors that contribute to the reticence of new voices to enter into politics is the unwelcoming and toxic environment that comes with it.

This is particularly true for members of underrepresented groups who face additional pressures because of their difference to mainstream identities.

Through process design it is possible to design political spaces which intentionally work to reintegrate the human element back into our politics, by taking into consideration ways in which we can create engagement that is less rigid, more informal, and allows for politicians to engage as people first.

Can we design safer policy thinking spaces?

Can political collaboration be encouraged by spaces that reduce the risk of speaking one's mind?

How can we reimagine our political spaces and processes so that we can cultivate a more humane and collaborative policymaking culture?

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