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 […]

Should there be a ‘duty to involve’ for national policy?

As Edward Andersson from Involve noted in his recent blog reviewing the new consultation principles issued by government: ”Today consultation has, for many citizens, become a byword for formalistic, tick box exercises, done to mask a decision which is already a ‘done deal’.” Edward rightly suggested that the new principles, while important, fall short of […]

Consultation can’t fix our broken politics – we need new ways to engage the public in policymaking

Is consultation broken – or is it our political system? Consultation seems to have become the lightening rod for general discontents about politics and policymaking. Let’s improve consultation – but let’s also rethink how we do policy and politics at the same time. In this Open Policy project with the Democratic Society in association with […]

Open policy is a challenge to government consultations – and an opportunity

More than 40 years ago the American sociologist Sherry Arnstein developed the ‘ladder of participation’ to represent the degree of involvement by citizens in decision-making. Arnstein’s levels range from ‘non-participation’ at the bottom of the ladder – at worse, the manipulation of citizens – to ‘citizen power’ and true citizen control at the top. One of the challenges […]

Strange priorities

The TaxPayers’ Alliance has released a survey undertaken by YouGov on “four popular spending cuts” that the Government should undertake. The four are freezing the international development budget; cancelling High Speed 2; stopping paid trade union posts in public services; and scrapping the Green Investment Bank. Did one of those pop out at you? What […]

Co-creation and democracy: reflections from SIX

This post was written by Corline van Es and Anthony Zacharzewski What’s the connexion between co-creation and democracy? Earlier this week we joined the SIX Spring School in Amsterdam to discuss “co-creating democracy”. It was two fascinating days full of interesting lectures. However, we were left with the sense that discussions on co-creating public services […]

Five questions on Big Society and social enterprise

Allison Ogden-Newton asks for suggestions on questions for Lord Wei on the Big Society and social enterprise. Here are my top five: How are Whitehall and local government procurement rules going to be changed to allow coalitions of social enterprises to compete with Serco and PwC on a level playing field? What representations will the […]

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 […]