Just before the election I went along to NESTA to an event all about Democracy Innovation. I was privileged to be able to talk about the work of the Digital Democracy Commission and also to hear from people developing new technologies and tools for civic and political purpose in the UK.
It was an amazing event. I was impressed by a whole range of projects being developed by people really passionate about democracy and improving political engagement. While the election saw many useful and innovative ways of helping people through the voting process, we all agreed at the NESTA event that it would be important to keep up that momentum after the election. We need to keep people engaged and build participation.
So I decided to host an event in Parliament to bring together some of the civic tech entrepreneurs with politicians. The aim of the event is to give them the opportunity to demonstrate their ideas and innovations and get some political support and buy in for what they doing from the politicians themselves.
To give you a flavour of some of the innovations out there who will be at the event:
Represent lets you have your say on decisions that effect you. Use it where you live, where you work, and everywhere in between.
Digital Democracy website http://www.digitaldemocracy.org.uk/
Digital Democracy is a campaigning website that does two things: it lets you start and gain support for Changes, and it helps identify your local community's priorities. Changes are submitted, debated and ranked by popularity alongside others in their area. Changes are ranked by the level of support in each local community. When Changes reach certain levels of support the !Change is sent to MPs, MEPs, and councillors who are then invited to respond to the issues.
A digital business idea aimed at raising democratic engagement among young people.
Parly – Parliament in your pocket http://www.parlyapp.uk/
A new journalism project that focuses on the UK Parliament. PARLY aims to capture the mood in the Westminster village, be an expert voice on procedure and provide the context that makes Parliament understandable to outsiders. It will create, for the first time, a truly holistic view of Parliament. PARLY will provide exclusive content using a live feed featuring short pieces of information, along with photos and videos, to capture each day Parliament sits.
Whip is a mission driven start-up organisation whose vision is to create the first UK civic engagement and participation platform. Whip makes engaging in the political sphere easy, providing users with tool to directly influence MPs and hold them to account. Users can learn about the legislation in Parliament, influence MPs and rally support for bills and issues. Further to this, users can get views of MPs in a constructive way, encourage friends on social media to do the same and get updates on how MPs actually vote - all within 1 minute.
MPs and Organisations can use Whip to build support for their positions and expand their membership. Whip offers MPs a platform to communicate directly with their electorate.
Democracy Club https://democracyclub.org.uk/
Democracy Club is a group of volunteers that aims to increase the quantity, quality and accessibility of information on election candidates, politicians and democratic processes through digital tools, micro-volunteering and collaboration with like-minded organisations.
Building a digital democracy - event details
Wednesday, 1 July 2015 from 12:00 to 14:00 (BST)
Portcullis House, Westminster
The event is invitation only so if you’d like to come then please contact me firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re innovating for democracy or you’re a politician wanting to know more then we’d love to see you.