Mentoring for democratic innovation – a new way of working?

Democratic innovation can sometimes be challenging because people underestimate what it takes to run a successful process, but with strategic support these processes can be much easier to grasp, and with more confidence, much easier to deliver. In a recent project (Civic Activism Programme) in Northern Ireland we worked with our friends at Building Change Trust […]

Have people in Northern Ireland given up on democracy?

What do people in Northern Ireland think of democracy? Have they become downheartened, disappointed, disillusioned? If the crowds that came for Democracy Day in Belfast last month are anything to go by, it’s clear there’s a lot of enthusiasm and energy for democracy – and plenty of ideas for how to fix it!   Coincidentally meeting as […]

Big ideas to transform the economy: participatory budgeting could be the answer

The Democratic Society were invited by the Open Government Network NI to speak at the Festival of Economics in Northern Ireland, on the topic of participatory budgeting. The conference was framed around Big Ideas looking at innovative, challenging and disruptive ideas to transform the economy. Our Niamh Webster joined economists, experts and politicians in inspiring […]

What’s next for democracy in the EU?

With the EU referendum not far away, we’re wondering what’s next for the EU. How can people play a bigger role in EU decision-making and make the EU more democratic? The conference ‘Democratic Participation in a Citizen’s Europe: What Next for the EU?’ will encourage participants to assess, explore and develop citizen involvement in EU public policy and explore the […]

New Councillor Commission wants to hear from you

The new Councillor Commission reeassesses the role of the local councillor in democracy, and wants wide engagement to inform its recommendations Are you worried about local democracy? So are we. We’re particularly worried about councillors. They face an increasing amount of pressure, with declining capacity in councils to support them. They are experiencing funding cuts, […]

Britain can be the real winner of the EU referendum: why we all need to be talking about Europe

  ‘How (not) to talk about Europe’  is a recent publication from the independent think tank Britain’s Future, that advises both the ‘In’ and ‘Out’ campaigns to change their narrative so as to involve and engage the wider public, leaving a lasting legacy of public participation. In this sense, we all need to be talking about […]

Scotland’s participation ‘spring’; what are the Scottish Government doing?

Scotland is in the midst of a ‘participation spring’; a unique and enviable position for a government and politicians to have such engaged and involved citizens. But there is a risk that this could all go to waste if the Scottish Government doesn’t seize this opportunity to engage and involve the public in meaningful participation. […]