Manifesto or Policy Forest?

Leaked or Shared?

Today saw the leak of Labours Manifesto and a media debate on either the non-substantive policy issue of the lack of control of Labour on its members, or comments on substantive issues by senior Conservatives who said it showed that the coalition of chaos would not provide stable and secure leadership. We are not big fans of manifestos anyway, and given that this is an attempt to establish a Brexit manifesto, after the fact, in order to(allegedly) increase the governments power when negotiating with the EU, then the gleeful seizing upon the leak rather than the policies by the British media indicates once again that personality-driven elections obscure rather than illuminate…

We are interested in Participatory policy making and as a part of our Policy 2.0 project (participatory, creative, interactive) we developed a policy-making approach as part of the learner-generated contexts research project, called Policy Forest. It is a policy development based on our institutional Architecture of Participation work where we, especially Nigel, apply Web 2.0 principles (What is Web 2.0?) to educational institutions. First used on our LGC event on designing future learning spaces, we have evolved it further.

Architectures of Participation we have characterised as “Adaptive Institutions working across Collaborative Networks” where we see all workers within an educational organisation sharing in the decision-making process, as pioneered by Eccles College and their award-winning webactions project.

Policy 2.0 was launched at CAL in Dublin in 2007 and was in part inspired by Diana Laurillard views on the Adaptive State and the idea that a conversational framework for policy implementation could be developed

The shared policy development approach in Policy 2.0 was further developed and tested over a number of events and finally reached a workable model at the JISC workshop on Sustaining Innovation in education. In this model, experts, and politicians evolved a number of policy formulations concerning specific policy outcomes and people vote for the formulation they prefer, policy by policy. It is not a mandate, nor a manifesto, but a line by line policy review. In our model we have 3 options for each policy outcome as well as a write-in option. Significant write-ins can also be accommodated. Results are published and acted upon, not unlike environment audit statements.


The actual policy formulations for Sustaining Innovation can be found on Cloudworks

More on Architecture of Participation on the blog, more on Policy 2.0 on slideshare

Fred Garnett

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