Weighing Digital, An Experts Guide

This week we published our new podcast series Weighing Digital, An Experts Guide.

We spoke to three digital participatory budgeting experts across the globe who have designed, developed and are actively running participatory budgeting & citizen engagement digital platforms, with an aim to create a better and more democratic world.

In this first episode we spoke to Miguel Arana Catania, Director of Citizen Participation for Madrid City Council about the benefits and challenges of using a digital tool for citizen engagement and Consul which is a free software platform first set up and used in Madrid by the brand Decide Madrid and now used across the globe, that allows everyday citizens to participate in various functions for a more open, transparent and democratic government. It includes: citizen proposals, voting options, participatory budgeting, collaborative legislation, public debates, collective interviews, and sectorial processes.

Listen to this if you’ve heard about or are interested in the digital pilot in Scotland! Consul is the digital tool that was set up in Madrid and is now being used here. Listen to what Miguel has to say about Consul, digital engagement and citizen participation!

In this second episode, we spoke to César Silva, CEO & co-founder of Change Tomorrow about the benefits and challenges of using a digital tool for citizen engagement and Participare which is a digital platform used in Portugal, Scotland and beyond, that allows everyday citizens to participate in various functions for a more open, transparent and democratic government. It includes: citizen proposals, voting options, participatory budgeting and their aim is to provide easy to use, do-it-yourself like, solutions to help change the world and make it a better place.

Listen to this if you’re looking for some digital tips on designing your PB process. In this podcast, César talks about international examples, what’s worked, why it’s worked and overcoming challenges!

In this final episode of Weighing Digital, Annie chats to Róbert Bjarnason, President & CEO of Citizens Foundation a non-profit organisation about Iceland’s experience of using digital tools for citizen engagement and the future of democratic participation. The tools used are Your Priorities & Open Active Voting, which are open sourced digital platforms used in Iceland, Scotland and beyond. These tools allow everyday citizens to participate in various functions for a more open, transparent and democratic government. It includes: citizen proposals, voting options, debating, collaborative legislation and participatory budgeting. Their mission is to bring people together to debate and prioritise innovative ideas to improve their communities whilst also helping citizens get their voices heard and to encourage citizens participation in governance.

Listen to this podcast if you’re interested in finding out how you build trust in your area, the importance of building trust and maintaining trust, citizen engagement and the future of digital…including artificial intelligence. Róbert also tells us about setting up digital in Iceland and how it came about!


(Interview by Annie Cook over Skype) Available on Creative Commons licence. Music by Hamish Cook (copyright for music, all rights reserved)

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