localgov

What we’ll be working on at our Local Democracy Maker Day #LDMaker16

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Local Democracy Maker Day

Local Democracy Maker Day
Friday 12th February 2016
The Media Centre, 7 Northumberland Street, Huddersfield HD1 1RL

Eventbrite - Local Democracy Maker Day 2016
 

What is a Maker Day?

Our Maker Days are a chance to collaborate with others who care about local democracy on issues that we choose together. Our focus at this Maker Day will be on responding to some of our Design Challenges for Local Democracy.

We want to turn our discussions around local democracy and digital into some practical tools that we can all use to make democracy work better for us – and we hope you’ll be part of it. You don’t need any previous experience to join in – we’ll be learning from each other as we go along.

We’ve chosen three challenges for us to focus on during the day, based on things that participants of the Notwestminster network have shown keen interest in recently.


Our three Local Democracy Design Challenges are:

  • 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? 
  • Real Representation: The job of the local councillor is to represent their constituents yet their wards can include as many as 25,000 people, all different, all special. How can councillors better reach out to people in their community so that everyone can be properly represented? 
  • 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?

Who is it for?

  • Digital makers
  • Open data advocates
  • Local government officers
  • Councillors and candidates
  • Community activists
  • Hyperlocals
  • Voters of today and tomorrow

Want to join in?

Free tickets are available now:

Eventbrite - Local Democracy Maker Day 2016


Other event info

Taking part at the venue or online? Here’s some other information you might find useful:


We are…

We are Local Democracy Bytes and the wider #notwestminster gang. Our Maker Day is part of our collaboration with LocalGov Digital Makers. It’s about turning our discussions around local democracy and digital into some practical tools that we can all use to make democracy work better for us.


With thanks to our sponsors

Our Maker Day is part of Notwestminster 2016, two days of rock n roll local democracy kindly sponsored by:
the-media-centre

Supported by UKGovcamp

UK Open Government Civil Society Network

LocalGov Digital

Democracy Club logo

Delib logo

Modern Mindset

ADSO

What we’ll be working on at our Local Democracy Maker Day #LDMaker15

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Local Democracy Maker Day, 11th September 2015

Local Democracy Maker Day
Friday 11th September 2015
The Studio, Riverside West, Leeds LS1 4AW

 

What is a Maker Day?

Our Maker Day is a chance to collaborate with others who care about democracy on issues that we choose together. Our focus at the Maker Day will be on sharing ideas for the 2016 local elections and trying some things out using elections data.

We’ve chosen three challenges for us to focus on during the day, based on responses to our Design Challenges survey and things that our participants have shown keen interest in over the past few months.
 

Our three Local Democracy Design Challenges are:

  • Access to Decision Makers:   People want greater access to decision makers and yet to many the local decision making process seems remote and impersonal.  How can we encourage real contact between those making the decisions and those affected by them?
  • Voter Information: If democracy is to work then voters need to be properly informed about their candidates and yet much of what they receive is biased and sometimes even inaccurate.  How can we ensure that voters in local elections get the facts and figures that they need to make an informed choice?
  • 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?

 

Other event info

Taking part at the venue or online? Here’s some other information you might find useful:

 

We are…

We are Local Democracy Bytes and the wider #notwestminster gang. Our Maker Day is part of a new collaboration with LocalGov Digital Makers and Democracy Club. It’s about turning our discussions around local democracy and digital into some practical tools that we can all use to make democracy work better for us.
 

Want to join in?

Book now for Local Democracy Maker Day

We are #notwestminster – are you?

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#notwestminster debriefIn the last week of February we gathered together in a proper pub in Huddersfield, had a beer or three, laughed a lot, pinned on some more of our homemade badges and shared our thoughts about We’re Not In Westminster Any More.

One of the reasons for our gathering was to reflect on how we might summarize the event that we held on 7th February 2015. We know that lots of you have been waiting patiently for an overview. But our conversation quickly became less of an event debrief and more of a debate about what’s ahead of us – it didn’t take very long before somebody said “so, what’s next?”

The best way of summing up We’re Not In Westminster Any More is to say that we have started something. We always meant to. But we actually did – and everyone who participated in the event (or who supported it) has helped to make that start. We thank you for it.

So instead of telling you what happened on the day (you can have a look at our blog roundup to hear reflections from the participants, including us) we wanted to share our current thoughts about the experience that we’ve come to know as #notwestminster.

It’s not an event – it might be a movement
There was an undeniable amount of energy that seeped out of our event, onto the streets of Huddersfield and along the train tracks as people journeyed home. Many of us went away feeling like something had changed and we talked about it on our blogs, in our neighbourhoods and in our workplaces. The challenge now is how to sustain that energy. We asked: if it were a movement, what would it do?

If we are a movement, what shall we do?

What happens to the ideas?
We put a lot of focus on encouraging our participants to come up with new ideas for doing local democracy. Our workshop hosts bravely accepted the challenge and we ended the day with 48 ideas being paraded at our Ideas Bazaar. There’s huge potential in those ideas and we feel a lot of responsibility for them. We talked about our role as facilitators, helping to forge connections between people. We want to strengthen our spirit of collaboration so that we can support each other with developing those ideas.

It needs to live in the real world
We had some great conversations at #notwestminster. We set out to involve a wide range of people, from activists to academics and digital makers to councillors. This mix of participants made for some interesting discussions on the day, and made all of us look at things from other perspectives. Some of the most interesting moments were discussions that brought the real world firmly into the room, such as the pigeons of nearby Springwood which made a memorable appearance in the open data session. The pigeons brought our discussion right down to earth. These moments made us want to just get out there and try things. What practical, small scale experiments could we get on and do right now?

The times they are a-changin’
From the outset, we thought of We’re Not In Westminster Any More as a bit of an experiment. We tried some different things and we weren’t sure what would work – but much of it did. If we organise another event in the future, should we do something completely different? If we change things radically, do we risk chucking away all the good stuff too? For us there’s an element of being completely open to innovation but also not wanting to undermine our principles. If we are a movement, what are our principles? We probably know this, between us, but maybe we haven’t really voiced it. There’s a task in there somewhere…

We inspired each other – we should keep doing that
We gained so much from bringing people together. We know there’s more to be gained by doing more of the same. We all have networks of people who we trust and are inspired by. What if we each brought just one new person to the #notwestminster mix? Where might that take us?

Should we all go and ask someone: We are #notwestminster – are you?

Our three commitments
Based on our collective thoughts, and in the #notwestminster tradition of creating three new ideas in every conversation, we’re now going to make three commitments to you:

  1. We will gather at LocalGov Camp in Sheffield, in six months’ time (11th & 12th September 2015), to share the outcomes of our work together so far. We invite you to join us to plan for the future.
  2. We will organise at least one more #notwestminster event, in 2016. It may (or may not) be something like the 2015 event. It will definitely be an experiment.
  3. We will continue to make and strengthen connections between people who have something positive to say about local democracy and who have ideas about improving it.

How you can help
All of us are doing local democracy in some way, and are open to finding new ways of making it work. We know that many of you have already started putting the ideas generated at We’re Not In Westminster Any More into action. We’ve created an online version of our Ideas Bazaar to help that work continue – and we hope it will encourage more people to get involved.

We want to make sure that we keep track of all the good things that are going to come from this. Please help us by letting us know about anything that happens as a result of We’re Not In Westminster Any More.

Please keep using the #notwestminster tag on twitter to make it easier for people to get involved and to keep sharing ideas. Do you know someone who might be interested in this work? Please point them in our direction and help the #notwestminster movement to grow.

And finally… if you are #notwestminster, please wear your badge with pride. You earned it.

Diane, Carl, Andy, Spencer, David, Aggie & Andrea

 

Local Democracy for Everyone – We are open…

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Supported by UKGovcampWe’re delighted to announce that Local Democracy for Everyone is being supported by UKGovcamp, through their fantastic grants programme. We are really grateful to Steph Gray and Dave Briggs at UKGovcamp for this helping hand to get us started.

If you haven’t heard of it before, UKGovcamp is the free, annual ‘unconference’ for people who are interested in how the public sector does digital stuff. At unconferences, the participants set the agenda, the event is open to everyone who wants to join in and participants are encouraged to blog, tweet, take photos and involve others in the conversations.

Local Democracy for Everyone is following many of the principles behind this open approach. Our participants are very much in control of the content of the event, so we’ve been inviting you to share your ideas for workshop sessions over the past few weeks. We’ve had a great response already and we’ll be sharing your workshop ideas on our blog to get the debate under way.

We’ve also set all our workshop hosts a big challenge. The participants in each workshop should be encouraged to come up with three new ideas for redesigning local democracy. At the end of the day we’ll bring everyone together for an Ideas Bazaar, where we’ll share our ideas and begin to exchange the resources and skills to take them forward.

Thank you very much to everyone who has already accepted the challenge. We hope that we’ll give you a head start by getting the conversations under way in the weeks before the event. 


Join the conversation

Please get involved by commenting on the workshop ideas when we post them online – or by sharing your own idea if you’d like to. We’ll do our best to find the right spaces for all the conversations that you’d like to have on the day.

It’s also really important to us that people are encouraged to participate online. If you can’t make it on the day, you’re very welcome to share your comments via this site, tweet us @LDBytes or send us links to your blog or other online content on the theme (before, during or after the event). Please pass this invitation on to anyone who you think would like to join in.


Show your support

Our other big news is that our main ticket release is now sold out and we’ve started a wait list today. 

Because we believe in being open, we would dearly like to release some more tickets so that other people can take part. We are currently looking for some extra financial support for our event to make this possible.

Please get in touch if you’d like to find out more about our sponsorship packages. You can also help by sharing our details with someone who you think might like to support our event.