The power of design: involving people in local decision-making

A Notwestminster 2016 workshop idea from Sarah Allan

Notwestminster workshops ident

Many of the #notwestminster Design Challenges for Local Democracy – particularly social decision-making, young people and inclusive democracy – ask how to involve people in local decision-making. I’m keen to swap ideas and experiences.

This will be a practically focussed session, working with you to try out a key approach to designing public engagement strategies and events. We’ll discuss whether this is a useful way to solve some of #notwestminster’s  design challenges and, if yes, how local decision-makers can be best supported to use it.

We’ll be using real examples in the workshop, so please get involved by bringing along an example of an issue that you (or your council) need to engage people with. 

We’ll also bring some common scenarios for discussion, and case studies for you to take away.

I would like to take some best practice from in this area and interrogate it from a local government perspective. We’ll be investigating whether this is useful in solving some of the #notwestminster design challenges – and why (or why not). We’ll also talk about how we can make this sort of public engagement – and the knowledge and skills that accompany it – more readily available and accessible.

What you can do next

Please share your examples of decisions or scenarios around which you (or your local council) need engage people, so that we can use real examples on the day. You can tweet @SarahAllanUK or email

Do you have burning questions about engagement that you’d like to discuss in the workshop? You’re also very welcome to let Sarah know your questions in advance.

Book your free ticket for Notwestminster 2016

Share and comment on twitter using these tags:

#notwestminster #engage

or you can Leave a Reply on this page.

Sarah AllanSarah Allan
Engagement Lead (Democratic Reform)

Sarah leads on democratic reform for Involve – a think-tank and charity which helps people take and influence the decisions that affect their lives. She specialises in event design for public engagement and facilitation, and works across local and national government and public services. She has a background in research, project management and campaigning. 


Design Challenges for Local DemocracyLocal Democracy Design Challenges

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….

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?

Notwestminster 2016 workshops list


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