We aim to create new ways of making policy centered on public participation. Our priorities are to build transparency and accountability into existing Government structures and to use technology that is democratic by design.
In the UK, we are the public dialogue partners for the UK's open government programme. We have curated discussion regarding the future of the European Union and the policy direction of the European Commission. We have also worked with parish councils, neighbourhoods, counties and cities to develop local democracy and decision making.
Our clients include the Government Digital Service, the Cabinet Office, the European Union’s Department for Employment, NHS England, The Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Scottish Government. We regularly showcase our thinking; recent examples include the World Forum on Democracy, Club of Venice, Personal Democracy Forum Europe, and the Political Studies Association's Participative & Deliberative Democracy conference.
We also offer four services through the public sector Digital Marketplace:
- Digital democracy consultancy
Support on designing and implementing digital democracy, participation and engagement projects, whether designed from scratch, or on existing cloud services, and embedding them in wider engagement approaches.
- Supporting online democracy & participation
Expert support and advice on selecting and operationalising participation and engagement solutions based on cloud services, from an independent and technology-neutral non-profit organisation.
- Digital engagement training
Training for staff and contractors in digital democracy and participation, showing the different tools available.
- Independent facilitation of digital engagement
External independent facilitation of digital engagement exercises, to maximise trust and manage difficult conversations in a shared space.
Our current projects include:
Digital Tools and Participatory Budgeting in Scotland
The Scottish Government commissioned Demsoc to conduct a research project into the use of digital tools to support Participatory Budgeting (PB), in the context of the requirements of local councils.
Supporting Civic Activism with Building Change Trust in Northern Ireland
Working with local government and civil society to build democratic participation and openness in Northern Ireland, informed by best practice elsewhere in the UK.
More information about the projects we are supporting in Northern Ireland can be found here: http://civicactivism.buildingchangetrust.org/case-studies
Design, organisation and facilitation of two events for the European Parliament Information Office in the UK about the Future of European Democracy.