Our story so far…

New to the #notwestminster network? Here’s a potted history of our activities so far, to help you understand what kind of thing we do. Ideas for new conversations, connections and practical activities are always welcome.
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Notwestminster annual event archives


Activities list

  • 11th February 2017
    Notwestminster 2017 – our third annual Notwestminster event brought together over 80 people who are enthusiastic about local democracy. We had workshops, Lightning talks and an Ideas Bazaar, followed by some drinks and some plotting. Check out our Best of Notwestminster 2017 page for blogs, videos, photos, slides and lots more.

  • 10th February 2017
    Notwestminster x PechaKucha 2017 – we held our latest PechaKucha evening of fast-paced talks with a distinctly democratic flavour. Our local democracy advocates shared their favourite democratic inventions, conversations between dads and daughters about democracy, a year of fire in Newsome, how Sheffield’s tech community responded to the refugee crisis and the complete and utter history of local government. Plenty of food for thought there…

  • 10th February 2017
    Democracy Experiments Day – Nick Taylor and Loraine Clarke from the University of Dundee hosted a day of exploring how to do Design Experiments for Local Democracy. This included some methods of rapid prototyping, working in teams to develop some ideas chosen by participants, and then putting some of our ideas to the test out on the street. This was a partnership event with the Centre for Public Scrutiny, as part of our Design Experiments programme.

  • 15th July 2016
    Design Experiments for Local Democracy – we held a gathering in London to kick off a programme of work with the Centre for Public Scrutiny. Design Experiments for Local Democracy is a practical programme for local democracy advocates. We are encouraging people to rapidly test and evaluate new ways of doing local democracy, and we’re supporting each other in doing this. You’re welcome to get involved.


  • 13th February 2016
    Notwestminster 2016 – our second annual Notwestminster event brought together almost 80 people who are enthusiastic about local democracy. We had workshops, Lightning talks and an Ideas Bazaar, followed by some drinks and some plotting. Check out our Best of Notwestminster 2016 page for blogs, videos, photos, slides and lots more, and keep an eye on our online Ideas Bazaar for opportunities to get involved in the practical work.

  • 12th February 2016
    Notwestminster x PechaKucha 2016 – we held a special PechaKucha evening of fast-paced talks with a distinctly democratic flavour. Our local democracy advocates spoke about public servants being human beings, devolution in the North of England, our suffragette heritage, whether digital is a good way of improving local democracy (or not), the joy of being a councillor, the missing Godfather film and lots more. It was excellent.

  • 12th February 2016
    Local Democracy Maker Day – we held our second Maker Day in Huddersfield, as a fringe event at Notwestminster 2016. Digital makers, local government officers, community activists, councillors, open data advocates and others came along to make something together in response to 3 of our Design Challenges for Local Democracy.

  • 26th September 2015
    Rock and Roll local democracy: It’s a miracle – Imagine that overnight a miracle happens. Local democracy becomes like rock and roll; stripped back; simple; easy to understand; emotional; exciting; and fun. How would you know? What would you notice in your daily life? In the morning? At work? In the evening? Dave Mckenna asked these questions at GovCamp Cymru 2015 and got some wonderful answers.

  • 12th September 2015
    How are we going to redesign local democracy? – we led a “democracy Cinderella” session at LocalGovCamp 2015, in which we encouraged people not to overlook democracy whilst focussing on service design in local government. We invited everyone in the room to make one wish for redesigning local democracy, and we asked for other wishes via twitter. Here are our #localgovcamp session notes.




  • 29th April 2015
    Election Special PechaKucha Night – we live tweeted this Election Special, curated by fellow notwestminster particant Dr Andy Mycock from the University of Huddersfield. As well as reporting on the PechaKucha presentations, we shared our thinking about digital democracy during the elections – with a distinct focus on local democracy. We began our conversations with @DemoClub during the interval.


  • 7th February 2015
    We’re not in Westminster any more – 80 people took part in our first Notwestminster event, including local government officers, community activists, young people, councillors, academics and digital makers. We shared ideas through workshops, lightning talks, creative activities and our Ideas Bazaar.

  • 6th February 2015
    PechaKucha Night – this was our first “hustings”, featuring a series of short presentations about democracy and our other interests, in Cafe Ollo at the Media Centre in Huddersfield.

  • 5th February 2015
    Local Democracy for Everyone – Local Democracy Bytes (@LDBytes) and friends organised a series of events in Huddersfield for anyone who is interested in local democracy, beginning on National Voter Registration Day 2015. Although some of us were already working together on the Rewiring Local Democracy programme (part of LocalGov Digital), this was the start of our #notwestminster network.

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