Experimenting with participation, lean startup approach

Ideas from the “Experimenting with participation, lean startup approach” workshop at #notwestminster 2015, hosted by Peter Lewis.

Peter Lewis at #notwestminster
Peter Lewis at #notwestminster – photo NotWestminster (24 of 30) by Anthony Mckeown

Workshop 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? In this workshop Peter shared the experience of creating voXup, based on an idea about what would motivate people to take part in local decision making. Is a nice feedback loop a good enough incentive?

The three ideas

Flag created by Juan Pablo Bravo from The Noun Project

  1. MVP / What to build – Bootstrap on next bus time SMS to get opinion on local policy change.
  2. Start small & cheap v. hyperlocal (i.e. one street) fail quick (then fail better).
  3. Integrate w/ existing channels – curated space that integrates with. Share into curated space from existing platforms.


Want to join us in working on one or more of these ideas?
You can Leave a Reply at the foot of this page.


Startup placard


Related video



About the workshop host

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.

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