Call for contributions

Updated Thursday, 23rd January 2014
A call for contributions from people and projects involved with public participation and engagement.

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The Open University project Participation Now has teamed up with openDemocracy to support a debate about contemporary forms of participation and public engagement.

Participation Now features an expanding collection of participatory public engagement initiatives to illustrate the varied ways they are working to address contemporary public issues and concerns. The aim of Participation Now is to support ongoing individual and collective thinking, practice and innovation related to these developments.

To kick-start a debate about the aims and effects of contemporary participatory public engagement initiatives, we invite short, blog-post style contributions (250-1000 words) from people who are interested or involved in this area. Contributions may address one or more of the following questions:

  • What can be achieved through participation and public engagement activities? How can such aims be met? What, for you, counts as ‘success’?
  • Who can be involved in or represented through participatory public engagement, and how? How do specific initiatives/projects enable individuals, collectivities, issues or ‘things’ to be represented, given voice or made visible?
  • What possibilities do participatory public engagement activities offer for new forms of public action? How do specific initiatives/projects enable people to interact, organise and collaborate?
  • How are initiatives/projects you are familiar with positioned in relation to ‘mainstream’ politics? Do you think such initiatives should seek primarily to work with established institutions and conventions, or develop alternative forms of public action?
  • In your own context or area, what do you see as being the main (anticipated or unanticipated) effects or outcomes of participatory public engagement? What obstacles will current forms of participatory public engagement need to overcome to be more ‘successful’?

All contributions published on openDemocracy/Participation Now can be accompanied by links to help raise the profile of your work and/or the work of others, and readers will be invited to comment on the contributions.

By assembling a set of contributions from people working in different domains, Participation Now aims to provide a lively context for new networking, debate and practice across this field.

Contact us by email with your ideas or contributions. This is an open call that will be running initially until March 2014.


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