We want to get students involved in the conversation around improving student safety. They are the experts in when they feel unsafe and what might help students feel safer when they are out at night with friends or on their own.
Crowd-sourcing ideas feels like a good approach, so we are hosting a conversation for students to vote on statements other people have made about student safety, and share their own point of view. We will run this conversation throughout April, and then share our findings in a report in May. Please join in – the more the merrier. You can take part right here:
The tool we are using has been used successfully in several civic engagement projects across the world. It is called pol.is and is free and open source and used by local and central governments from Barking to Taiwan. Interestingly Taiwan is leading the way with public participation in government. I was lucky to have a brief chat with Audrey Tang, Taiwan’s Digital Minister at an interactive online event during one of the lockdown’s last year. She is very impressive and if you are interested in opening up the way governments work I thoroughly recommend watching her talks.
I’m particularly keen on developing ways of involving large numbers of people in decision making – particularly around smart cities and IoT. I have been banging on for years about how it is essential that the public have a proper say in how our cities, towns and rural areas adopt smart technology. I am excited to see how this conversation goes, and to see if the same methods could work in other areas of our work with local authorities.