Bruegel Annual Meeting – The Missing Link

by Anthony Zacharzewski I spent this morning at the Bruegel Annual Meeting, kicking off the autumn with economics and geopolitics. Several high level speakers talked about the EU’s future economic policy and geostrategy (armies, hard power, soft power and so on), but for me there was a critical missed connection. It was clearest in the economy panel. The speakers talked about the impact of the Trump presidency on trade, how Brexit was going to damage the EU and the UK, and the importance of acting at regional and local level on skills and…Read more
GM Democracy Hub

GM Democracy Hub

Last Wednesday, Demsoc Manchester hosted the first Greater Manchester Democracy Hub, with The Politics Project. Aiming to identify, map and connect everyone working in the Greater Manchester region to improve democracy in innovative ways, we organised an event for those people to meet, share their work and network. Whilst there is a lot of wonderful work happening in this area, it seems that no one is aware of all of it, and even those with similar plans and ambitions haven’t crossed paths. We wanted to rectify this, as we think that collaboration and…Read more
European Citizens’ Consultations: call for civil society links

European Citizens’ Consultations: call for civil society links

If your organisation would like to be a link, please complete this short form: https://goo.gl/forms/lDzRtYXzAe3urMHq1  The ECC Civil Society Network are seeking expressions of interest from civil society organisations (CSOs) that can function as national links between the core network and the member states. The network aims to make the ongoing conversation around the future of Europe as joint as possible, to support positive and broader engagement in the different consultation approaches available, and to use the consultations to start to build a network of organisations interested in connecting up the European conversation…Read more
Help create a more constructive debate about the shape of Greater Manchester

Help create a more constructive debate about the shape of Greater Manchester

  Deciding what we should build where always seems to stoke intense emotions and conflict. Greater Manchester’s Spatial Framework set out plans for how land could be best used across the city region. The resulting consultation gave voice to a kaleidoscope of different concerns and interests but generated very little in the way of constructive discussion. With a consultation on a new draft currently planned for October, we thought now was a great time to ask how we create better conversations about the future shape of Greater Manchester. You can help us explore…Read more

Networked European Democracy ready to start in Italy!

In attesa della versione italiana del sito, la descrizione del progetto in italiano segue quella inglese. In a delicate moment for Italy and its political situation, next week we will launch the first event of Networked European Democracy, an ambitious but practical programme that aims to deliver a better connection between citizens and European policy. We’ll bring discussion of relevant and current policy issues to the local level and our theme this year is the future of work and skills. This is also related to a key theme of the Festival dell’Economia 2018 in…Read more
Reflections on the European Citizens’ Panel

Reflections on the European Citizens’ Panel

Over the weekend, The Democratic Society was involved in the European Citizens’ Panel, run by the European Commission, with the support of Kantar Public (a market research agency) and Missions Publiques (a specialist citizen deliberation organisation). Bertelsmann Stiftung acted as academic experts. We helped with the design and facilitation of the event, which ran from Friday night to Sunday lunchtime, and a group of facilitators from the civil society network that we are creating on the European Citizens’ Consultation supported Missions Publiques with independent facilitation. These are my first reflections – I’m sure…Read more

“City Democracy Incubator” joins the shortlist for Advocate Europe!

Advocate Europe is a challenge to find unconventional and transnational ideas that respond to Europe’s present challenges, covering different fields such as civic education, arts and culture, social innovation and advocacy. The initiative is realised by MitOst and Liquid Democracy, funded by Stiftung Mercator. This year 475 ideas were submitted from 42 countries, with 31 of those ideas selected for a shortlist. The shortlisted ideas are each in with a chance of securing grants of up to €50,000 and mentoring to implement their ideas – and we’re delighted to share that the idea…Read more

Change at the Council: Independent Review of Governance for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Today, The Democratic Society (Demsoc) and the Centre for Public Scrutiny (CfPS) published a report titled Change at the Council: Independent Review of Governance for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Funded by the Local Government Association (LGA), this report is the result of months of research conducted by talking to residents, councillors, council officers and partners about the good and bad aspects of the current system, and how it can be improved. We have looked at the way that the Council makes decisions and who is involved in making those decisions.…Read more

Ideas of Democracy: Save Democracy – Abolish Voting

Demsoc has just launched the first in our Ideas of Democracy series. The series is intended to give space for writers to express a vision and contribute to the debate on the future of democracy and democratic governance. The books are personal views, and not those of the Society. Here Paul Evans, author of "Save Democracy - Abolish Voting" discusses his new book, which you can buy online now. “Save Democracy – Abolish Voting” sketches out an alternative means of managing liberal democracy. It is an unusual book, in that it defends the…Read more

Reflections on a three month internship with The Democratic Society

In June we were delighted to welcome Alex Hrabinová to our office in Edinburgh to begin a three-month internship, which was enabled by the Erasmus+ programme. Having now returned home to Slovakia, we asked Alex to reflect on her time spent working with the Demsoc team. You can read about her experiences below. We're always happy to hear from people interested in working in the Democratic Sector. We are able to support occasional internship opportunities, but it's important to us that the placements are meaningful development opportunities and can fit alongside our existing…Read more