A Notwestminster 2019 workshop from Jonathan Bradley
In the last few years we’ve learned that in too many ways big tech, especially social media, has let us down when it comes to quality debate and public deliberation. Instead of attending local meetings and engaging in democratic debate at a local level, people have taken to the airwaves and joined tribes of like minded people, in so called propaganda bubbles and echo chambers. Simultaneously, arenas for more rational debate and possible compromise like town halls, pubs, churches and playgrounds are either poorly attended, poorly funded or closing down.
Looking forward, it is clear that we need online spaces for people to debate local issues in a meaningful way and in doing so create well functioning local democracies. In these online arenas people with different views and opinions would be able to discuss public policy issues, changes to local services, planning matters and so forth, without fear of being trolled or abused. And this requires so much more than just an online survey!
In this workshop we’ll discuss how local government can rise to the challenge of creating safe places for online participation.
How to get involved
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About the workshop host
Bang the Table
After many years working as a UK Partner of Bang the Table, Jonathan joined them in 2018 as an engagement specialist for the UK. Bang the Table’s mission is to enable public participation as a fundamental part of well-functioning 21st century democracies, by forging constructive relationships between communities and the institutions of government. He is also co-founder and a Director at Participate UK, who get people involved in difficult conversations and manage complex public consultations. When he’s not thinking about best practice online participation Jonathan enjoys singing in the “internationally famous” Mousehole Male Voice Choir and spends a lot of time by the beach or on his boat, in Cornwall.
Our local democracy is a shared endeavour, often a shared frustration, but above all a shared hope. Notwestminster is about finding the people, ideas and energy we need, so that we can use our skills and experiences for a common purpose.
Together we have what we need to assemble a stronger local democracy. Are you up for the challenge? Please join us.