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 […]

Happy New Year – what are we planning at Demsoc?

Happy New Year from all of us at the Democratic Society. We hope you have a prosperous, successful and democratic 2016. 2015 was a crazy, busy year for us, but most of the plates stayed spinning. Our health participation project, NHS Citizen, finished its design phase with a published design, and started the slow process of building […]

Who should vote in the EU referendum?

Who should vote in the European referendum? You’re likely to see a lot of political debate about it in the next couple of months, but the answer to the question is not just a matter of political calculation. It depends on what you think the EU is, and what a referendum is meant to do. […]

CSI: Scotland

This post is an attempt to define what a common social infrastructure for civic participation might look like. It comes from discussions I’ve been having in a series of workshops on democratic renewal, hosted by the Scottish Government but involving lots of other government and civil society participants from around Scotland. The “common social infrastructure” […]