Once lawmakers have developed a shared and actionable definition of a problem, they face the challenge of devising effective and workable solutions. New technology presents a chance to obtain innovative, creative and diverse expertise from around the country and around the world. Through online tools, people can suggest, deliberate upon, and critique proposed approaches to solving a problem, broadening public input beyond that available to legislators and their staffs through occasional hearings. In particular, online engagement creates the opportunity to get good ideas from diverse sources. For example, Parlement & Citoyens in France enables citizens to submit proposals on the causes and solutions to a problem posed by a representative. Citizens’ proposals are then synthesized, debated, and incorporated into the resulting draft legislation. At this stage, online participation in developing solutions gives lawmakers the potential to enhance innovation.Read More
- Open Innovation Also known as open innovation, this is a style of collaboration that uses online tools to bring together the collective knowledge and expertise of widely dispersed individuals with good ideas about how to solve a problem. The best examples of online brainstorming provide the opportunity for participants to rate each others’ ideas and collaborate on improving them.
- Prize-backed challenges A prize-backed challenge is a specific form of crowdsourcing ideas that seeks to accelerate and create incentives for idea generation by offering a prize. Prizes can include cash or gifts like an iPad, technical support and coaching, or simply publicity and recognition for participants.
- Smarter Crowdsourcing Smarter Crowdsourcing is the application of data-rich tools to help match the supply of citizen expertise to the demand for it in government. Rather than rely on a wide call for ideas and expertise that can elicit an unmanageable number of low value contributions, these tools enable you to engage with those with the most relevant skills, experiences, and ground-level street smarts for the problem you are addressing.
- Decide Madrid is a citizen participation platform launched in 2015 by the Madrid City Council to promote transparency within all local government initiatives and engage Madrileños in several different actions including participatory budgeting, debates, and consultations. However, the “propuestas” feature, which allows anyone to submit a citizen proposal of their own volition requesting change in the city as they see fit, has been deemed the heart of the program.
- About the interviewee:
- Luis Cueto Álvarez de Sotomayor is the General Coordinator of the Mayor for the Madrid City Council. Since 1987, he has served on the board of directors in the Higher Corps of Civil Administrators of the State.. More recently, among other positions, he also served as the Deputy General of Promoting Business Innovation for the Ministry of Science and Innovation from 2010-2015. There, he was responsible for management of the Network of Cities of Science and Innovation and the seal of innovative SMEs, among other duties.
- Identifying the need to engage citizens more in decisions that affected their lives, Jay Weatherill called for a new style of politics characterized by open and transparent public debate. Setting this“debate and decide”approach against the more traditional“announce and defend”way of making decisions, his government established one of the world’s widest ranging programs of participatory democracy. The program included multiple citizens’ juries, a range of participatory budgeting programs, open innovation challenges, online and face-to-face engagement between the public and Ministers, and training in citizen engagement for public sector staff. These initiatives were promoted through the government’s online engagement portal, YourSAy.
- About the interviewee:
- Jay Weatherill was Premier of South Australia from 2011 to 2018. Upon being elected to office in 2002 he immediately became a member of Cabinet, going on to serve in variety of portfolios including planning, education, environment and water, families and communities, Aboriginal affairs, public sector management and treasury. As Premier he led the state through a major period of economic transformation. With traditional manufacturing industries in decline, his government pursued new opportunities in areas such as renewables, premium food and wine, health research and related services, international education, and tourism. A major feature of his government was a new style of politics characterized by open and transparent public debate, with a program of democratic reform that gained international recognition.
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