Skill citizens and communities up to be constructively critical of engagement p
A comment on my blog (http://oursociety.org.uk/profiles/blog/list?user=3d7y1gav51y5g) on Our Society got me thinking.
One of the risks of the Big Society is that it fragments into lots of Little Societies all pursuing their own ends, probably in conflict with one another. At the same time, the risk is that local government will engage with communities to legitimise cuts already decided on rather than in ways that give them real voices.
Can we skill up communities and citizens to be constructively critical of engagement processes (both within the sector and those run by government) to push them to be more open and inclusive?
I've got some ideas about how to take this forward if anyone is interested in talking.
IMHO, "skill up" implies training, whereas actually what you want is to "culture out" to an attitude of openness. I suspect those who would like such training already see the benefits of openness.
To themselves, at least. There's a big difference between wanting openness from somebody else, and openness as a society-wide culture (in the style of Open Source, say).
I think there are things you/we can do though - it's about context, mostly. And mostly it's a fascinating subject which we should think/tall/do more about. Happy to discuss further somewhere.