I wanted to find a way to really engage the public in open and transparent policy development using online tools to broaden the normal consultation process. So that’s why we designed and ran a number of consultations which we called “Public Spheres”.
I’ve outlined the entire methodology for running a Public Sphere consultation on my blog, and I welcome your feedback and input. Several departments and universities have used the methodology successfully, and we welcome anyone to pick it up and run with it.
A “Public Sphere”, according to Habermas, is a space that “…through the vehicle of public opinion it puts the state in touch with the needs of society”.
This kind of engagement in public policy is a great way to represent different views and harness a broad range of expertise, particularly on topical issues of the day.
Public spheres we ran:
The Digital Culture Public Sphere (finalised October 2011)
- The event details, schedule, final report and outcomes
- Analysing the Public Sphere – data and community
ICT/Creative Industries Public Sphere (finalised Dec 2009)
- Launch of this Public Sphere with schedule and details
- Public Sphere 3 wrapup and outcomes
- Handing over of the final report to the Minister for Industry
Gov 2.0 Public Sphere (finalised July 2009)
High Speed bandwidth Public Sphere (finalised May 2009)