Perry Walker writes: In the German state of Bavaria, not far from Munich, is the city of Augsburg. In 1898, Augsburg was the birthplace of the theatre practitioner Bertolt Brecht. Marie-Pierre Leroux, my wife, an artist, and me went to Augsburg in February this year. We were taking part in the Brecht Festival. The focus of the event was a park in the city called Rote Torwallanlagen. The ecosystem of the park contains 49 species, […]

Win-Win Workout predictive policing Perry Walker writes: In the latest of our monthly Win-Win Workouts, the participants each represented one of six very different characters: Diana Sardjoe, Dutch founder of The Mother is the Key (De Moeder is de Sleutel) to make people more aware of predictive policing Brian MacDonald, CEO of Geolitica (formerly PredPol) which does hot spot mapping Will Douglas Heaven, senior editor for AI at the MIT Technology Review Cressida Dick, the […]

Image by RL from Pixabay Perry Walker writes: Initiatives and Deliberation (I&D): A Proposal for a Democratic Innovation Introduction The name for this proposal is of course chosen to parallel I & R – Initiatives and Referendums. They were introduced in many US states between the 1890s and the 1920s. They were inspired by the Swiss system of referendums, which itself goes back no further than 1848. I chose the parallel in order to encourage […]

Perry Walker (who lives between Hereford & Berlin) writes: In part of Berlin called Wedding, next to a polluted main road, stands a small patch of ground. It is both very ordinary and highly remarkable. Ordinary because in its mix of trees, shrubs and plants it looks like many another overgrown plot. Highly remarkable because the More Than Humans that inhabit this soil influence what happens there. How on earth? They do so through a […]

Sheffield Compass is one of the many local groups formed by supporters of Compass: for an equal, democratic and sustainable future. Our aim is to engage the three progressive parties in Sheffield, South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire to publicly commit to supporting candidates who stand for the five key principles of the Common Platform (see below), and in particular to work with them  to target four Tory held seats: Penistone and Stocksbridge (Sheffield), Don Valley, Rother […]

The Win-Win Workout puts to sea, getting to grips with the BBC Perry Walker writes: After 18 months in development, our launch event, which took place online last week, was on the future role and funding of the BBC. Participants represented a character such as Emily Maitlis or Paul Dacre. They sought to find ways forward that work for all the characters. This emphasis on common ground and on shared solutions fulfils the aim of […]

How to start taking politics beyond polarisation The problem: Politics, especially in the UK, believes that a majority vote settles the issue. Why it matters: As well as leaving an unhappy minority, this inhibits the search for creative solutions that work for everybody. The solution: Avoid such a vote, or treat it as a starting point. In both cases, start by seeking out the common ground. Last year, Apolitical published an article of mine called […]

We must find ways to introduce preference voting into UK politics because it encourages people out of the binary, and tribal way, we’re conditioned to think. Integrated into a well-designed event, it encourages people to consider other points of view. This, we believe, will lead to people identifying common ground, which they can build upon to create solutions that work for everybody. Recently Talk Shop held a webinar on this topic. What follows is an […]

The Deliberative Gap: Why Citizens’ Assemblies Need Initiatives Like Talk Shop We thank Stuart White of Jesus College, Oxford for this blogpost. Citizens Assemblies (CAs) are all the rage right now. And with good reason. But CAs have limitations. One is the gap that can potentially open up between those participating in a CA and the wider public. Initiatives like Talk Shop can perhaps address this problem by organizing meetings that establish and maintain connections […]