Re-imagining collaboration in Swedish local government
I’ve just spent a really inspiring few days with some of the best minds in eParticipation and digital engagement. We met in Stockholm thanks to the smart thinking of the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR) with the aim of shaping some new ways to engage the Swedish public in what their local municipalities are doing. Over two days we shared a lot of great ideas, listened and debated how things could be done differently. The end result far exceeded my expectations (and I think those of the other participants), in no small part through SALAR’s excellent preparation, supported byJeremy Millard and with first rate facilitation during the two days from Martin Sande (not an easy task given the group he had to manage!).
The outcome of the two days was almost an information overload. The topic is broad, the problems and challenges many and the combined international experience in the room truly inspiring. We produced two draft deliverables for SALAR to take forward (along with a lot of video content and many, many notes!). The first group’s work is discusssed by Catherine Howe here.
The group I worked in, which included Jeremy, Tiago Peixoto, Ingrid Koelher (here’s her blog on the symposium), took the approach of re-desigining collaboration and engagement around real issues and looked at how to ‘start civic fires’ to get people interested and active. I’ve not had chance to write up my notes in as much details as I would like – but many of the discussions over this two days are starting to strongly shape my current thinking, so a lot more will emerge.
In the meantime, here are my notes from the final group session. If you’re read Catherine’s blog you will see a signfincant overlap in the thinking of both groups, which suggests that despite a general frustration about digital engagment moving too slowly, there is considerable consensus on how it could happen more effectively (HINT: if you right-click the centre box and select ‘show all levels’ you can then print the whole mind map).