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Welcome to E-Democracy.org UK!

Visit the new UK directory to find current UK Community Forums.

Get Involved in the United Kingdom with E-Democracy.org

E-Democracy.org is interested in partnering with a neighbourhood in a lower income, high diverse community in the UK to connect into our Inclusive Social Media effort which has funding in the U.S..

Special Events

1. Volunteer to start an Issues Forum in your community. Extensive start-up training and advice is available. Or volunteer to join the local city "team" to help with outreach and more.

2. Connect with Edward Andersson or Mary Reid, the UK-based members of our international Board. Dan Jellinek is also a former Board member active in Brighton and Hove.

3. Join our online UK Advisory Group - Contact us for more information.

4. Explore materials from our past UK pilot efforts funded in 2004-05 by the then UK Local e-Democracy National Project.

Brief history of E-Democracy.org in the UK

E-Democracy.org is a U.S.-based NGO serving over 15 communities with 25+ Issues Forums across New Zealand, the UK, and the United States (particularly Minnesota). Our history in the UK dates back to 1994 when our model was cited as the motivation behind the launch of UK Citizens Online Democracy in its first incarnation. Scott Aikens, then a graduate student from Michigan studying at Cambridge, came to Minnesota to help found our initiative and returned to the UK where he also spread the word. Today, UK Citizens Online Democracy is the charity which hosts mySociety.org. We helped make that connection. In 2004, staff from the UK Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and the forming UK Local e-Democracy National Project visited Minnesota.

This led to a request for an Issues Forums pilot effort to start one forum in the UK. About 40,000 GBP of direct funding was provided over two years with in-kind support particular from Bristol Council in year two. We started two council-wide forums in Newham and Brighton & Hove. Compared to the other 25 or so pilots, we were the most citizen-based (versus council-based) and despite no major funding after the 2005, the model spread to two additional councils at the neighbourhood level. Most of the forums are active most weeks to this day. Oxford's Headington and Martson is the most active at the neighbourhood level and Brighton is the most active council-wide. New communities, based on local volunteer interest or local start-up funding, are encouraged to join our network.

The UK Office of Deputy Prime Minister also hosted the first International Symposium on Local E-Democracy in Minnesota in 2005. It was coordinated by E-Democracy.org leader Steven Clift.

UK-related "e-democracy" resources

Key UK-related Local Online Communities Resources

Our version of "e-democracy" is a hard to classify because it is a mix of digital engagement, inclusion, journalism, empowerment, and government/governance. So think broadly not just what governments should do or host themselves, but what you are willing to build for your community and democracy in a way that makes sense to you.

 

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