Digital democracy: A panacea for youth disengagement?

Ideas from the “Digital democracy: A panacea for youth disengagement?” workshop at #notwestminster 2015, hosted by Andy Mycock and Simon Campbell-Skelling. David Bundy represented this workshop at our Ideas Bazaar.

Carl Whistlecraft and David Bundy at #notwestminster
Carl Whistlecraft and David Bundy at #notwestminster – photo NotWestminster (25 of 30) by Anthony Mckeown

Workshop challenge

Only 44% of 18 to 24 year olds voted in 2010 UK General Election. Young citizens claim they feel excluded from politics, do not trust politicians or understand the language they use. Does ‘digital democracy’ have the potential to reverse this trend?

The three ideas

Flag created by Juan Pablo Bravo from The Noun Project

  1. Create links between councils and schools. Give children (14-16) a project that they devise & create. Understand links to democracy.
  2. Changing our behaviour. Embracing social media debate into policy making.
  3. Card contact conversation. Contextual information on policy change in your area.
Want to join us in working on one or more of these ideas?
You can Leave a Reply at the foot of this page.


Youth placardyouth contact card




About the workshop hosts

Dr Andrew MycockDr Andrew Mycock
Reader in Politics
University of Huddersfield

Dr Andrew Mycock is Reader in Politics at the University of Huddersfield. His research interests focus on issues of youth citizenship and democratic participation. He served on the UK government’s Youth Citizenship Commission from 2008 to 2009. He recently contributed to the UK Parliament Digital Democracy Commission project, ‘Hardcopy or #Hashtag: Young people’s vision for a digital parliament’.


Simon Campbell-Skelling
Community Heritage and Education Officer

Simon Campbell-Skelling works for Kirklees Council’s Community Heritage and Outreach Team. He is currently working on My Country My Vote. This is a partnership project between the council and the University of Huddersfield which seeks to encourage greater, and more positive, political engagement amongst young people.


One thought on “Digital democracy: A panacea for youth disengagement?

    […] Dr Andy Mycock (University of Huddersfield) who served on the Youth Citizenship Commission spoke about the steady decline in democratic engagement, particularly amongst the young, and the great opportunity to reach young people through social media. Online voting could help too. Digital access offers much more than improved influence over politicians – it offers the chance to do democracy differently. It could create new forms of citizen engagement, enrich representation, and enhance policy making and scrutiny. More about Andy and Simon’s workshop […]


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