Weeknotes: Learning Review, w/c 9th June

Headlines Learning review day with Luminate last week and moving forward with Calderdale. Last week… We had a  learning review day with our funders, Luminate. It helped us to clarify some of our immediate needs on the programme, including preparing a pitch-pack for potential funders for the next stage of the programme. We’ve been continuing to develop prototypes from the ideas that workshop participants shared about how to build a conversation over the summer in Calderdale. This week we will… Work on the communications for Public Square – in preparation for the pitch pack Talk about complementary research approaches to

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Weeknote: Capturing learning, w/c 3rd June

Headlines We’ve been writing up, and building from, the ideas heard at our Calderdale co-design workshop. This week we have a learning review day workshop with our funders Luminate to talk through how the project has gone so far and what we want to do as a result Last week… Had a bank holiday! Wrote up what we heard from participants at our co-design workshop in Calderdale about ways the council can engage differently with residents. This will be shared back with participants by the council. Made a start on developing prototypes of how Calderdale Council could engage with residents,

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Putting Community Neighbourhoods in the Driving Seat in Newham

Public Square gives us a great opportunity to bring together some of the different people working on local democracy and learn from each other. We recently sat down for a chat with Andy Paice, who’s been doing really interesting work helping empower local communities to shape plans for local area within Newham. This blog post shares what’s been done, and what was learnt about the challenges involved in setting up a more participatory democracy. The approach used is a great example of the switch to a more participatory way of making decisions, and could provide inspiration for some of our

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Weeknote: Local knowledge is key, w/c 20th May 2019

Headlines Project call with Frome Town Council – we’re sharing and discussing various tools and items of reference as we look to design a solution for Frome’s Town Vote. We’ve got a busy two-days in Calderdale! On Thursday we’re working with Calderdale Council to facilitate a co-design workshop with some key stakeholders (including citizens) and on Friday we’re meeting with and sharing the story of Public Square in Calderdale with senior officers and elected members. We’re super excited! Last week… Met with the lead officer at Glasgow City Council who is our main contact for developing our Public Square work.

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Calderdale Council Becomes A Partner

After all the build-up it’s time to introduce the first of Public Square’s council partners: Calderdale Council. What is happening in Calderdale? Over the years, the work of councils has changed. We live in very different societies today than we have in the past. Every council has an implicit ‘social contract’ with its residents – an unspoken understanding of what each other’s roles and responsibilities are. But as times have changed it’s time we looked more closely at what citizens and government can expect from each other, and thought about how both partners can best work together to create the

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Weeknote: Planning Co-Design, w/c 13th May 2019

Headlines Designing a Co-design workshop with Calderdale Council Pulling together information about Participatory Budgeting and approaches to online voting for Frome Getting clear our approach to discovery and co-design Last week… We are moving ever closer to a co-design workshop in Calderdale next week, which will bring community stakeholders together with the council to help plan a wide-ranging conversation this summer about the relationship between residents and the council. Last week we spent time designing the workshop together with Calderdale Council’s Neighbourhoods and Cohesion Manager. We want to help our partner councils out, by providing inspiration about new approaches. In

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Weeknote: Starting Discovery, w/c 29th April, 2019

Headlines Onsite discovery visit in Frome – interviews with key stakeholders Last week… Spent a day in Frome shaping discovery and doing interviews with key stakeholders (Friday, 26 April). Spoke to Andy Paice, a public participation consultant and learned more about his work. Planned meeting with Technical Reference Group, to be held on 1 May. Developed Calderdale – and planned our onsite discovery work in May. User research interview and document review around council process, barriers and opportunities This week we will… Take part in our Technical Reference Group meeting Continue to develop our discovery work onsite with Calderdale Reflect

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TICTeC – The Impacts of Civic Technology

Every year mySociety host TICTec, a conference for those interested in how technology is changing the way we engage with society. This year’s conference was on the 19th and 20th of March, in Paris, and brought together more than 200 leaders in the Civic Tech field.

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How do we get to joined-up change?

Introduction A challenge for Public Square is to understand how innovation in involving communities in decision making can go from isolated examples in different places – and with different labels – to a whole-system change. On Saturday 16 February Mel Stevens and I held a workshop at the Notwestminster event in Huddersfield where we posed this question to a wide group of people interested in local democracy. We introduced Public Square then asked a series of questions about decision-making. Here’s a quick download of the conversations we had and some reflection about what we can take forward to the programme.

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