How can an Open Government agenda heal divided societies?

Finding a positive way forward before the world tears itself apart.

This is a workshop as part of Open Government Partnership conferenceĀ in Paris Dec 2016

Workshop objective

Scotland’s open government civil society network with our partners in Northern Ireland are hosting a workshop to assess whether a decisive shift towards open government can avert a dangerous shift in Europe, the US and elsewhere towards distrust, division and xenophobia.

UPDATE: When we pitched this workshop, we had no idea that this issue has become a key concern way beyond Europe and the US. We warmly welcome participants from South America, Africa, Asia to join us and share your story. We will prioritise this input.

  • The workshop will assess the impact of increased polarisation of public attitudes between citizens and their government
  • The withdrawal of the UK from the European Union (Brexit) brings this into sharp focus for the UK, while in the US the election of Trump and in France, the rise of National Front, all indicate a divisive direction of travel.
  • But what can help? Is increased civil society activism, increased use of technology or increased scrutiny to open up government addressing citizens’ hopes and fears? Or is it simply proliferating circles of people talking to people they already agree with?
  • How can we develop open government approaches that are relevant to the concerns of an increasingly polarised and disenchanted public? Do we need to do more work at levels other than nation state (as with the subnational pioneer programme) to try to bridge these gaps?

Speakers and facilitators:

  • Ruchir Shah, SCVO head of policy, introduction to session and chair @ruchirlives
  • Anthony Zacharzewski, Director, Democratic Society UK (facilitator)
  • Lucy McTernan, Deputy CEO, Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations
  • Doreen Grove, Ingage, Scottish Government
  • Colm Burns, Chair, Northern Ireland Open Government Civil Society Network
  • Zuzana Wienk, journalist, Slovakia and OGP Steering Board member (European partner perspective)

Planning to livestream from:

Full session details:

#OGP16 @scvotweet #OGP_Scotland