A Notwestminster 2016 workshop idea from Perry Walker
New approaches to knowledge mapping (or “argument mapping”) are emerging all the time. They offer ways to:
* Map out the issues before a council meeting in ways that help citizens to grasp the issues and express their views.
* Present the views of citizens to councillors.
* Map out the discussion at a council meeting so that people can see what it looked like – and, once again, give their views.
These ideas have not been explored in the context of local democracy, so far as we know. We want to begin that exploration.
We’ll choose some online software to use during the session (current favourite is Litemap, produced by the Open University ), run a quick mock meeting and map the conversation as we go along. Then we’ll explore how feasible that would be to do in real time, and how useful it would be for citizens and for councillors.
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Talk Shop & Open Up
Perry Walker is a Fellow of the New Economics Foundation (NEF), a London-based think tank, and an associate of Rhizome, a cooperative providing facilitation services. From 2006 to 2012 he was a trustee of Involve, where he is now also a Fellow.
Perry is one of the founders of Talk Shop. He has developed several participatory methods. One of them, called Crowd Wise, has been used in all of Talk Shop’s initial events. Another, which Talk Shop is starting to use, is the Democs conversation kit. Such kits have been used by tens of thousands of people across Europe. See Play Decide for kits on twenty different topics in twenty different languages.
He also runs the Open Up politics website. This uses ‘argument maps’ to help people engage quickly with complex ethical and policy issues.
All our 2016 workshops have been created by our participants in response to our Design Challenges for Local Democracy, which were crowdsourced from our Notwestminster network. This workshop is inspired by….
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?