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ODI Fridays: How to meaningfully engage the public in complex decision making

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Fri Nov 30, 2018 13:00
Open Data Institute, 65 Clifton Street, London, EC2A 4JE

How do you meaningfully engage the public in decision making when there are many factors at play, complex constraints and different options for policy and service delivery?

ODI Fridays are free lunchtime lectures for everyone. You bring your lunch, we provide tea and coffee, an interesting talk, and enough time to get back to your desk.

Governments and publicly accountable bodies routinely make complex decisions that directly influence huge numbers of people – everything from future climate policy, transport planning and local budgets to pivoting an entire police force.

But how do you meaningfully engage the public in decision making when there are numerous factors in play, complex constraints and different options for policy and service delivery?

Asking the public: ‘Do you want us to spend more on roads or social care?’ is meaningless if you don’t have the context or expertise to respond.

Delib has been directly addressing these challenges with online deliberation for years, as a way of breaking down some of the boundaries; increasing citizen participation in useful, well-informed processes. Ben’s talk will draw upon recent and historic projects to highlight the benefits, pitfalls and peculiarities involved.

About the speaker

Ben Fowkes is Commercial Director at Delib, a digital democracy company founded in 2001 that’s worked on everything from political satire to major policy crowdsourcing websites for the Whitehouse. He’s an experienced consultant that works with governments around the world, helping to design and implement digital platforms for public participation. Ben has delivered more talks than you’ve had hot dinners, and has strong opinions lightly held.

Live stream

There will be a live stream on this page from 1pm on Friday 30 November 2018.