Experimenting with participation: lean startup approach

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 Brainstorm by Jessica Lock from The Noun ProjectWorkshop idea by Peter Lewis

All of the workshops at Local Democracy for Everyone have been created by our participants. We’re sharing a summary of each workshop idea to help you decide what you’d most like to participate in – and so that everyone can start to share their comments about each idea.

Experimenting with participation: lean startup approach

The challenge:

It’s easy to have lots of ideas about how to increase participation in decisions affecting local topics, but how do you know which ideas are good ones? I founded voXup during the final year of my PhD as an idea about what would motivate people to take part in local decision making – specifically, is a nice feedback loop a good enough incentive? I’ll share this experience as an example.

#notwestminster #startup

Peter LewisPeter Lewis
@realPeterLewis & @voXupUK

Peter started thinking about participation in local democracy when he should have been concentrating on his PhD in theoretical physics, in late 2013. When thinking alone seemed to be insufficient to effect any real change, he went to a local pub with an idea about how to create feedback loops between the people who live in a place and those who take decisions affecting it. This idea – now voXup.co.uk – won places on the Bethnal Green Ventures accelerator (a Cabinet Office and Nesta backed ‘tech for good’ accelerator in London) and Google’s first European startup ‘Launchpad’ week, and has now completed thousands of feedback loops encouraging easy, habitual participation in London and beyond.


One thought on “Experimenting with participation: lean startup approach

    wwalford said:
    January 13, 2015 at 5:25 pm

    Really awesome idea, now I just wish I stayed in the UK to really make use of it. Have you found a specific demographic using the service, because while it helps to find out the support for an idea it only helps if you get a full range of responses from all the affected individuals. It really could be a great way to find out interest in ideas. have you though of making an app that detects geographically where you are and gives the list of all open ideas at that time? Maybe a nice extension to the idea.


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