A Community Foundation initiative
Crowd Wise is a tool developed by the New Economics Foundation (NEF) as a participative method for taking shared decisions – working towards an agreed conclusion rather than divergent opinions. The process can be used for a wide range of issues or decisions, including setting policy priorities, allocating budgets, or developing a consultation response. The structured nature of the process encourages constructive conversation rather than polarisation.
Planning Cells – developed by Professor Dr Peter C Dienel of the University of Wuppertal, Germany – bring together a small group of members of the public to develop solutions for a specific planning or policy problem. They tend to be used to develop a way forward for an urgent problem where a number of options are available, and for issues where there is not a large degree of existing polarisation in the attitudes of the affected population.
21st Century Town Meetings
21st Century Town Meetings combine features of small scale face-to-face discussions with large scale group decision making – combining talking with technology. They tend to be used to bring together large groups of people to discuss local, regional or national policy issues and often garner media attention due to their scale.
Local and Global Civic Innovation Tools
Top Tips For Civic Innovation
Be clear about who you want to engage with and why
There are many democratic institutions in Northern Ireland (local Councils, local and regional service providers, government departments), and therefore many tiers of decision making.
Include everyone who should be included
Depending on who your group is, or who you want to represent when you are engaging with decision-makers, you will need to consider how you are ensuring that you are really enabling all relevant voices to be heard.
Ensure that those you have involved in your processes are kept informed of what progress is (or is not) being made. Even if there is no news, let people know. Follow up is essential for keeping people interested and willing to engage further.