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Society, Politics & Law

Links and resources

Updated Wednesday, 30th October 2013

Want to find out more about participatory public engagement? Here’s a collection of links to websites, events and resources that may be useful.

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Participation Now project team and partners

The Participation Now project is led by Nick Mahony and Hilde C. Stephansen, who are both based in The Open University’s Centre for Citizenship, Identities and Governance (CCIG). They are involved in a number of initiatives that are concerned with contemporary public participation and engagement, including:

  • CCIG’s Publics research programme, which focuses on understanding the registers and mediums through which publics are mobilised, summoned, and performed.

  • The Creating Publics  project, which aims to reconceptualise public engagement in an age of emergent publics.

  • The Catalyst project, an RCUK-funded project that is investigating and working to support public engagement with research across all areas of The Open University.

  • The Publics then, now and beyond  network, an international and interdisciplinary network of researchers who are interested in the topic of the public.

Current and upcoming events

  • Participatory Video: Better Practice for Social Change – a global series of blended face-to-face and online workshops about Participatory Video for researchers, activists and development workers. Co-ordinated by the Open University (UK), InsightShare, Web Gathering and Open Cinema. May 2014 – January 2015.

  • World Forum for Democracy 2014  – Strasbourg, 3-5 November 2014. Initiated by the Council of Europe, this is “an annual gathering of leaders, opinion-makers, civil society activists, representatives of business, academia, media and professional groups to debate key challenges for democracies worldwide”.

Past events

  • Borders to Cross Conference 2013  – Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 29-31 October 2013. An “international, mainly European conference for up to 250 government professionals, active citizens, social entrepreneurs and academics in the field of social and democratic innovation”

  • Rethink Participatory Cultural Citizenship  – Aarhus University, Denmark, 14-16 November 2013. A conference for “scientists, artists and cultural activists to explore and debate processes in and perspectives on participatory cultural citizenship”.

  • The Participatory Condition  – McGill University, Canada, 15-16 November 2013. An International Colloquium which aims “to assess the role of media in the development of a principle whose expansion has become so large as to become the condition of our contemporaneity”.


  • Actipedia - an open-access, user-generated database of creative activism.

  • Beautiful Trouble  – a “book and web toolbox that puts the accumulated wisdom of decades of creative protest into the hands of the next generation of change-makers”.

  • InsightShare – an organisation that specialises in the “use of Participatory Video as a tool for individuals and groups to grow in self-confidence and trust, and to build skills to act for change”.

  • National Co-ordinating Centre for Public EngagementExternal link  – a centre funded by Research Councils UK, HEFCE and the Wellcome Trust which “helps inspire and support universities to engage with the public”.

  • ParticipateDB  – a “collaborative catalogue for online tools for participation”.

  • Participedia  – an “an open global knowledge community for researchers and practitioners in the field of democratic innovation and public engagement”.

  • Participation Compass  – "helps people in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors who need to involve a wider group of people in their work".

  • Participatory Open Online Course (POOC) – a course that “addresses the history, problems and possibilities of participatory media in contemporary society”. Offered as a complement to to Media@McGill’s international colloquium on The Participatory Condition (Montreal on the 15th and 16th November 2013).

  • SHIEN (Scottish Homelessness Involvement and Empowerment Network) - a national network launched in December 2008 “with the aim of using the expertise and experience of a range of organisations to collectively advance our understanding of and approach to expert service user involvement”.

If you have any suggestions for links or resources that you think we should include in this section, please email us.





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