As citizens of Île-de-France, with all our differences, distinctive characteristics and diversity, we have come together to debate the key issues surrounding the development of nanotechnologies. We are addressing our opinions and recommendations to the elected representatives of the regional council. The world of nanotechnology excites our curiosity while raising a myriad of questions. The field of nanotechnology is highly complex and difficult to grasp with the result that merely accessing information presents a challenge in itself. The sheer complexity of the nanoworld gives us considerable food for thought. This complexity is causing growing concern. Firstly, because there is a risk that those who possess knowledge end up taking decisions on our behalf without keeping us informed, which represents a genuine threat to democracy. Moreover, due to our fellow citizens’ poor understanding of what is at stake with the development of nanotechnology, the possibility of misuse cannot be ruled out. It strikes us that within this complex universe, the sheer difficulty in grasping the problem set and taking the necessary decisions means that we have an obligation to take the time needed to enhance our understanding. Major efforts are required to fully participate in the debate.