This week, Science Magazine reports on one approach to developing better community-based solutions to problems like renewable energy and transportation infrastructure.

Letting ordinary people determine climate policy might seem risky, but “if climate scientists have learned anything over the last couple of decades, it’s that they can’t just do the science and expect it to speak for itself,” says John Dryzek, a political scientist at the University of Canberra. . .

These “citizen councils” bring together local community members to deliberate together on the problem of carbon emissions and the need for a wide range of solutions, from small-scale efforts to reduce food waste to large-scale infrastructure solutions.

We’ve known in the innovation space that magic happens when you bring together insights from working with the people “on the ground” who will be the users for any solution, and the technologists who know what’s possible today and what’s just around the corner.

The community members engaged in these projects become evangelists for solutions when they’ve contributed their own ideas, and the solutions are stronger because they’ve been bumped up against the reality of everyday life.