Making the financial case #demsoc10

All through February, we are revisiting some of the 150-plus projects we have undertaken since 2010. Today, Anthony Zacharzewski looks back at our very first one. Lurking still in a remote corner of our website is the output of our very first project – Democracy Pays, a short white paper commissioned by Public-i on the financial benefit of opening up local government to greater participation, published in spring 2010. It seems an obvious question – does participatory democracy […]

10 years on

Ten years ago, I started Demsoc’s first project. The desk where I worked was in the spare room of my house in Hanover, Brighton. Demsoc had been around for a while before 2010 – it started as a broad concept in about 2003, then with the help of four friends became an organisation in 2006. […]

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 […]

Open Government and the EU: a model for action

There is no one solution to the European crisis, but we know that any solution has to include better democracy and greater openness. The EU, like every government, has to respond to citizens’ demands for greater control of the decisions that affect their lives. Our new report, written with the Open Estonia Foundation, the Centre for Public Innovation in […]

Let’s not copyright social innovation

Way back when, when I was working for government, we had dealings with a social innovation organisation (now defunct) who attempted to charge us a license fee for continued use of the social innovation that they had designed, with our funding, in one of our policy areas. Obviously we said no, but it left a […]