Last week we launched Demsoc Manchester, our new hub that compliments the work we’re already doing in Brighton, Edinburgh and Brussels. Thanks to everyone who came along and contributed to an interesting and lively discussion. In case you couldn’t make it, here’s a quick summary of what happened on the night! We asked the room ‘How can devolution be a breakthrough for engagement in democracy?’, a divisive subject at the best of times, and it provided lots of different and stimulating opinions and ideas. We heard thoughts from Michelle Brook, Demsoc’s…Read more
Julian McCrae at the Institute for Government PWC citizens' jury in Coventry recently. His take on the key points:
"Firstly, people can accept the case for difficult decisions when they are engaged in a meaningful discussion about the options.
Here's a neat little trick. Those who signed up to Barack Obama's campaign website (as I did to take a nose around, even though I'm not a US citizen), have just received an email asking them whether they want to "co-sign" the healthcare reform legislation that President Obama signed up to this morning. "OK," I thought, "must be some sort of in-advance petition effort to hinder any attempts to repeal the reform." I clicked through the link (to this page) and was rather surprised to see:
YouGov have just launched a new service called TellYouGov. Simply by sending an email, a text, or adding a #tellyougov hashtag to your tweet, your well-crafted opinion can be added to YouGov's live stream of thinkery. Here are the top five comments at the moment I'm writing this:
- Conservatives: Stop Giving Our Power to Europe!
- Katie Price: Empty
- Work: It's just rubbish isn't it.
- Colin Firth: Well deserved Best Actor Bafta. Three cheers for Colin!
Providence, Rhode Island (state capitol of the smallest state in the US) is about to elect a new mayor, and an organisation called Uncaucus is trying to "find the right person for the gig". They have posted a job advert on their website, and propose to
challenge assumptions about what it means to be Mayor, get more citizens involved in the hiring process and encourage new candidates to step forward.
I spent Saturday at UKGovCamp. I'm not going to recite the content or the sessions here, as all that can be found on the Wikispaces wiki that organiser Dave Briggs and others have put together to capture the content.
A very quick shout out to Saul Albert at The People Speak, who has started aPlanet Pledge Pyramid: a pyramid scheme to save the planet... culminating in a gonzo reality game-show called Who Wants to Be...? where the audience decides how to spend the money. Of course, they could decide to do anything with the cash, but it's happening at the Copenhagen Climate Forum, and this time, we're inviting an Internet audience of indeterminate size to join in, pledge and vote live on the outcome! Go and take a look.Read more
In an excellent overview (Digital engagement governance – a dichotomy between hyperlocal or partnership managed), Michele Ide-Smith sets out the pros and cons of handling community engagement projects through councils and partnerships, or through more organic local community media approaches: Council / partnership managed approach Pro’s: A level of moderation and facilitation control Less reliance on volunteers, who are often transitory and hard to coordinate Focus on specific issues relevant to public service providers Council hosts system and data – reliable and secure Potential for integration with other systems, workflow etc. Con’s: Top down =…Read more
I'm having a wander around the new Republican social networking site, GOP.com. It doesn't look like a huge advance on the Obama campaign site, although without registering you can't see everything.