Stop Press: Help Stephen Hale (FCO)

Right gang, setting aside (briefly) my unhealthy Miliband thing, and giving the apt H/T to Steph Gray (via twitter again), here goes another opportunity to play with the big boys.

Stephen’s plea for help here.

Now, I am anxious that I don’t dilute the importance of this by sharing it on this blog. This is a great opportunity to look at how we can start to do some of the stuff everyone is talking about.

Here is Stephen’s post in full, go engage there not here, but please do and please share the link:

How can the web help solve global financial problems?

When the Prime Minister announced that London will host a summit of world leaders on the “major questions of economic action” he set in motion a huge exercise in coordination and communication in Whitehall.

Officials across Whitehall are well practiced at this kind of thing, so I’m confident that by the time the world leaders gather in London on 2 April everything possible will have been done to ensure that the summit delivers.

But how can the web contribute to the success of the summit?

The build up to the summit should be an ideal opportunity to harness the power of the social web. We have: a set of problems that need solutions, existing active communities who are already talking about the issues, an offline process that has real authority and decision making power, and a defined timeframe in which to deliver.

So this could be a huge opportunity for digital engagement, but also a massive challenge. Should we try to lead, or just contribute to the conversation? Should we run big, high-profile headline-grabbing engagement exercises or smaller targeted outreach with particular groups? And how can we ensure that our digital engagement actually feeds into the policy making and decision making process?

At the moment we are planning to:

1. Run set-piece forums for discussion aimed at different audiences. (Because the UK government wants to know how different communities react to our emerging ideas.)

2. Reach out into spaces where people are already discussing the “major questions of economic action”. (Because however much governments would like to lead the debate, it already has a life of its own and much of the conversation will inevitably take place elsewhere.)

3. Create a web presence for the summit that sets out the issues as we see them, but also aggregates comment and opinion from elsewhere. (Because anything we produce on this has to reflect the problem-solving nature of the conversation that is taking place around the world, and a genuine openness to new ideas.)

We have some ideas on how to do all this but I’d really like to hear what others think. Can the web can help answer the major questions of economic action? How would you like to contribute to the conversation? Would you prefer to engage with government on official websites, or elsewhere? What web tools would you use to stimulate debate? Where on the web are the lively debates already taking place? Who should we collaborate with? What lessons can we learn from similar exercises?

I’ll post more on the detail as we start doing things. But I’d really like to hear what you think.

2 responses

  1. Pingback: Your government needs you « Sole Trader PR

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