Activities

Help us to pick our next Maker Day challenges

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Local Democracy Maker Day

We’ll be announcing the three challenges for our next Local Democracy Maker Day this week. If you’ve signed up to take part, you’ll already have received our shortlist. If you haven’t signed up yet, the event is in Huddersfield on Friday 12th February and you can book free tickets for our Maker Day now.

We want to make sure that everyone who is interested gets a chance to help pick the challenges that we’ll be working on together. Here’s our suggested shortlist, based on what participants have told us so far. Please let us know if you have any comments or other ideas.

5 challenges to choose from

  • Social Decision Making: Councils make many important decisions yet the people who are affected rarely have their say.  How can we get people involved in local policy making so that they can influence the decisions that affect them? 
    [we received several workshop pitches for Notwestminster 2016 about this topic, so we know that some of our participants are really interested – but does it appeal to you?]
  • Real Representation: The job of the local councillor is to represent their constituents yet their wards can include as many as 25,000 people, all different, all special.  How can councillors better reach out to people in their community so that everyone can be properly represented? 
    [we’re delighted to have several councillors participating again this time – is this a good opportunity for us to work on this challenge together?]
  • Digestible Democracy:  Local democracy needs to involve the widest range of people and yet the format of reports and the use of jargon puts off all but the most dedicated.  How can we present local decision making so it’s less obscure like modern jazz, and more popular, like rock and roll?
    [we’ve worked on this challenge at a previous Maker Day, and some participants want to have another go at it, as there are many small things we could do to help – do you agree?]
  • Connected Candidates: High turnouts in local elections are a mark of a healthy democracy and yet many people have no motivation to participate.  How can we get people connected to their candidates so that they will see a reason to vote?
    [Democracy Club are already doing some great work to crowdsource local election candidates for 2016 – are you interested in sharing elections data or talking about what else is possible?]
  • Young People: The young people of today are the voters of tomorrow and yet many see local politics as irrelevant.  How can we get young people involved in local democracy so they have a voice, both now and in the future? 
    [this is really important to many of us. We have some amazing young participants at our main Notwestminster event, but we don’t currently have any young people signed up to our Maker Day – and we can’t work on this challenge without input from young people. Shall we save this for another day, or should we try to involve more young people on Friday 12th February?]

 

Comments?

Please try to let us know by 12 noon on Tuesday 26th January 2016.

You can leave a reply on this page, email us at notwestminster@gmail.com or tweet us @LDBytes.

Please tell us about:

  • Challenges that you’re interested in.
  • Anything not listed here that you’d like us to work on.
  • Anything else you’d like to say about the Maker Day.

All comments and suggestions welcome. 

This is just to help us pick the right challenges for our network. If you’re going to be here on the day, you can join any group (or more than one group) to work on whatever takes your fancy. You can also follow online during the event.

 

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Your Notwestminster 2016 workshop ideas

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Share your workshop ideas
Together we’ve identified a series of Design Challenges for Local Democracy and we’re looking for practical ideas in response to these. Want to help shape our conversations?


We’d love to hear from anyone who would like to run a 50 minute workshop with a distinctly democratic flavour in Huddersfield on Saturday 13th February 2016. Your workshop should relate to one of our design challenges. Some examples are:

  • Young people – How can we get young people involved in local democracy?
  • Access to decision makers – How can we encourage real contact between those making the decisions and those affected by them?
  • Voter information – How can we make sure voters in the local elections get the facts and figures they need?
  • Digestible democracy – How can we make it less obscure like jazz, more popular like rock n roll?
  • Open data – How can we better share the data of local democracy?
  • Community News & Campaigns – How can we connect enthusiasts and help citizens to tell the story?

Please have a look at our full list and catch up with the story so far:

Design Challenges for Local Democracy

What we did at our Local Democracy Maker Day #LDMaker15

 

What are we looking for?

Workshops can be in any format you choose, from open discussions to practical creative sessions. Talk about something, build something or dismantle something.

If your proposal is accepted, your responsibility is to frame the challenge in a way that’s easy for a wide range of participants to understand and get involved in, then together work out one practical thing we could do to meet the challenge.

But the workshop is not a teaching session – your introduction should last no more than 10 minutes. After that, your role is to bring out the best from the group.

The outcome of your workshop should be one practical suggestion for redesigning local democracy – and the names of anyone in the room who is willing to help make it happen. We’ll give you an ideas sheet (both on paper and online) to record this on.

The final session of the day will be an informal ideas bazaar where you can have a drink, take a look at all the practical ideas from the day and do a spot of plotting.

Interested?
Please 
share your idea for a Notwestminster workshop.

Democracy Cinderella, you shall go to LocalGovCamp

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Look out for our “Democracy Cinderella” session at LocalGovCamp:

How are we going to redesign local democracy?

 
The #Notwestminster gang are made up to be collaborating with LocalGov Camp this week.  It has been brilliant for us to take some of the Design Challenges that emerged from our event in February into the Local Democracy Maker Day. We’re hoping that we can build some great stuff to help us do local democracy better. 

We also want to take the local democracy theme into Saturday’s LocalGovCamp 2015 unconference. So we intend to pitch a session inspired by a great blog post from a fully paid up member of the gang, Dave Mckenna. In his post, Dave explains that something often gets left behind in our rush to transform services – and that thing is democracy. He describes how (and why) we are “looking for ways to bring local democracy redesign work out of the shadows; to bring democracy Cinderella to the service redesign ball.”

If you haven’t seen this already, it’s well worth a read:
 
Redesign local democracy, not just services
 
We want to take some of these ideas into LocalGov Camp to stimulate thinking and discussion. So, whilst Dave can’t be there in person (you’ll be missed), we want to tap into the finest minds in the sector to explore how we might redesign local democracy.

If all goes well, perhaps we can start on another journey that ends at #Notwestminster in February 2016. Come and join us on Saturday to talk about redesigning local democracy.

It’ll be great.

What we’ll be working on at our Local Democracy Maker Day #LDMaker15

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Local Democracy Maker Day, 11th September 2015

Local Democracy Maker Day
Friday 11th September 2015
The Studio, Riverside West, Leeds LS1 4AW

 

What is a Maker Day?

Our Maker Day is a chance to collaborate with others who care about democracy on issues that we choose together. Our focus at the Maker Day will be on sharing ideas for the 2016 local elections and trying some things out using elections data.

We’ve chosen three challenges for us to focus on during the day, based on responses to our Design Challenges survey and things that our participants have shown keen interest in over the past few months.
 

Our three Local Democracy Design Challenges are:

  • Access to Decision Makers:   People want greater access to decision makers and yet to many the local decision making process seems remote and impersonal.  How can we encourage real contact between those making the decisions and those affected by them?
  • Voter Information: If democracy is to work then voters need to be properly informed about their candidates and yet much of what they receive is biased and sometimes even inaccurate.  How can we ensure that voters in local elections get the facts and figures that they need to make an informed choice?
  • Digestible Democracy:  Local democracy needs to involve the widest range of people and yet the format of reports and the use of jargon puts off all but the most dedicated.  How can we present local decision making so it’s less obscure like modern jazz, and more popular, like rock and roll?

 

Other event info

Taking part at the venue or online? Here’s some other information you might find useful:

 

We are…

We are Local Democracy Bytes and the wider #notwestminster gang. Our Maker Day is part of a new collaboration with LocalGov Digital Makers and Democracy Club. It’s about turning our discussions around local democracy and digital into some practical tools that we can all use to make democracy work better for us.
 

Want to join in?

Book now for Local Democracy Maker Day

Local Democracy Maker Day – Friday 11th September 2015

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Local Democracy Maker Day, 11th September 2015

Local Democracy Maker Day
Friday 11th September 2015
The Studio, Riverside West, Leeds LS1 4AW

Book now for Local Democracy Maker Day

 

 

About us

We believe in bringing together people who have an interest in local democracy – and who are up for the challenge of making it work better for all of us.

We are Local Democracy Bytes and the wider #notwestminster gang. Our Maker Day is part of a new collaboration with LocalGov Digital Makers and Democracy Club. It’s about turning our discussions around local democracy and digital into some practical tools that we can all use to make democracy work better for us.

What is a Maker Day?

It’s a chance to collaborate with others who care about democracy on issues that we choose together. Our focus at the Maker Day will be on sharing ideas for the 2016 local elections and trying some things out using elections data.

You might have seen some of Democracy Club’s great digital tools like YourNextMP for helping voters during the 2015 General Election. How can we create relevant tools for the local elections – and every election? We’ll be learning from each other as we go along.

Please come and take part in this practical day to help build a better local democracy. We’ll talk about the issues and use data that’s already available to quickly prototype something based on our shared ideas.

Who is it for?

  • Digital makers
  • Local government officers
  • Councillors and candidates
  • Community activists
  • Hyperlocals
  • Open data advocates
  • Voters of today and tomorrow

What will we be working on?

We want you to help us decide which issues we’ll focus on at the Maker Day. We already have a list of Local Democracy Design Challenges that have come from our previous events and conversations. You can tell us which us these you’d most like to see us working on right now:

Local Democracy Challenges – what matters most to you?

If you work for an Electoral or Democratic Services team, we also have a short survey that you can fill in to tell us more about your experience of being involved in elections:

Electoral and Democratic Services survey

Book your ticket

It’s free. We have a limited number of places, so please book your ticket now.
Book now for Local Democracy Maker Day
 
 
 

Democracy Club

Local Democracy Bytes and hashtag Not Westminster
 
 
 

LocalGov Digital Maker
 
 
 

Local Democracy Bytes and LocalGov Digital Makers are part of LocalGov Digital. Our Maker Day is a fringe event of LocalGov Camp 2015, held on Saturday 12th September at the same venue.

Join us for a #notwestminster Election Special

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#notwestminster Election Special

#notwestminster Election Special
Wednesday 29th April 2015
From 7.30pm to 9pm

 

Got something to say about how voters, candidates, councils and the media are making use of digital during the elections? Got something to share about what you’re working on? Got a wish list of useful digital stuff for future local elections? Want to make connections with people who can help you do things differently with digital?

 

Join us for a twitter discussion on Wednesday 29th April 2015, starting at 7.30pm. We’ll be tweeting live from the PechaKucha Election Special at the Media Centre in Huddersfield. We’ll share some of what’s being talked about on the night and ask you about some of the election issues that we’re thinking about. It’s a chance to share whatever you’d like to say about digital democracy during the elections – with a distinct focus on local democracy.

 

How to take part:

Tweet using #notwestminster or follow us @LDBytes

 

 

 

PechaKucha night in HuddersfieldIn or near Huddersfield on 29th April?

Please come along to the PechaKucha Election Special featuring some of our #notwestminster participants:

 

  • David Bundy, Policy Officer, Kirklees Council
  • Andrew Mycock, Reader in Politics, University of Huddersfield
  • Lewis Anderson, Kirklees Youth Council

 

The event also features some of the Politics students from the University of Huddersfield and members of the Huddersfield Students’ Union who have done some great work encouraging students to register to vote and get involved in democracy.

 

The PechaKucha Election Special is being curated by Dr Andy Mycock, with support from the Media Centre in Huddersfield.

How will digital change local politics?

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Political Studies Association logoThe Local Politics Group of the Political Studies Association is holding a session to discuss the latest research on how local politicians are using digital – and you can get involved.

The session is:

Different with Digital
Tuesday 31st March 2015

From 1.30pm to 3pm

It’s part of the Political Studies Association Conference in Sheffield. 

You can find the full details on the conference web site:
Different with Digital: Scenarios for a Rewired Local Democracy

Participants

The session will be chaired by:

Dave Mckenna (Overview & Scrutiny Manager for City & County of Swansea)

It will include contributions from:

  • Hugh Bochel and Catherine Bochel (University of Lincoln)
  • Jane Scullion (De Montfort University)
  • Thom Oliver (Oxford Brookes)

Dave Mckenna at #notwestminster

Get involved

We will be live streaming courtesy of John Popham and live tweeting using @ldbytes. The hashtag for the conference is #PSA15 and you can check #notwestminster as well.

So, please get involved – follow the action and send us your questions via twitter.

If you can’t tune in on the day don’t worry, we are planning an archive of the live stream, a blog capturing the main points and a Storify.

See you there!

Live stream

You will be able to find the live stream at:  John Popham Live

Presentations