DemsocMCR Launch Event Summary

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 […]

Turning the tide on democracy?

By Millicent Scott This October, the Athens Democracy Forum will bring together actors from across the world to examine the current threats to democracy from the refugee crisis subsuming Europe, Africa and the Middle East and the rise of terrorist attacks which challenge the core ideals of democracy, to the rise of populism and the […]

Limiting Freedom of Information could strike at the heart of a democratic United Kingdom

The free flow of information and ideas lies at the heart of the very notion of democracy and is crucial to effective respect for human rights. – UNESCO In the House of Commons last week, Justice Secretary Michael Gove said that he believes we need to “revisit” the Freedom of Information Act, adding to renewed speculation […]

Better Place Forum: Initial Thoughts.

Demsoc and ERS Scotland recently organised and facilitated a forum entitled: ‘A Better Place: Communities, Citizens and Consumers & New Approaches to Social Policy & Public Services’. We are currently compiling a report based on the discussions at the forum, but in the meantime, you can read my initial thoughts over on the What Works […]

The relational democratic state

The chapters by Tess Lanning and Geoff Mulgan in this new IPPR collection are relevant to how public involvement in Government could change. Here’s a snippet: All of these experiments [in public participation in policy] are attempts to embody the broader shift of government from standing over people, through providing things to people, to working […]

Government consultations: Quiz show or Review show?

How should Government consult? There is – obviously – a long piece of guidance on the matter – owned, bizarrely, by the business and skills bit of government, but it doesn’t go nearly far enough. The Code of Practice on Consultation is pretty strict – twelve weeks to respond, don’t do it during an election period, […]

If Social Justice™ were a breed of cat…

Oh, here’s a hideous survey. It invites you to tell the DWP what you think about Social Justice – the capital letters are clearly important. On the second (final) page of the survey you can opt in to hear more about Social Justice, although they’ve missed off the box where you can opt out from being not […]

Summit to cheer about

We’ve been involved in a fair few unconferences as participants or organisers, so we’re really pleased to be co-facilitating the Solace Summit, in Edinburgh in October, which is taking the radical-for-conferences step of involving the audience properly, and trying to achieve things (rather than talk about them). The typical local government conference has a parade […]

Creating democratic, scalable innovation

Skunkworks image on a Lockheed Martin hangar. Image via Wikipedia There has been a big response to Dave Briggs’s blogpost, Is there a need for a local government skunkworks?, some of which Dave summarises here. Dave’s point goes beyond the traditional technology-prototyping skunkworks, familiar from companies like Lockheed Martin, and I think he is really asking […]