Northern Futures

There’s an interesting bit of open policy work going on at the moment with the Deputy Prime Minister’s office working with the Policy Lab and Open Policy Making team, who are both based at the Cabinet Office. I’m lucky enough to be involved in a small way, too.

It’s called Northern Futures, and is all about finding ways that the northern cities in England can work together to compete with cities around the world.

The elements of open policy making here are an online ideas generation site, and a series of policy jam sessions.

The ideas site, based on Delib’s excellent Dialogue App tool, allows anyone to submit their own suggestions for answers to three questions:

The best answers to these questions will be taken forward to the policy jams. There will be eight jams taking place at the same time across eight cities in the north, each looking at their own ideas and producing iterations on those ideas, and potentially prototypes too.

I’m delighted to be helping out with the process and will be facilitating the policy jam that will be taking place in Hull. It will be the first time I have been back to the city since my graduation!

The Hull event will be taking place at the city’s History Centre, which looks like a cracking venue. I’m hoping we will get a whole range of people attending – strategists, policy experts, technologists and so on.

The other cities involved will be Manchester, Leeds, York, Sheffield, Newcastle, Liverpool and Lancaster. You can express an interest in being involved by signing up on the Eventbrite page. Note – signing up here doesn’t guarantee a place, it’s more an expression of interest.

If you’re up for a challenge and would like to get involved in a pretty meaty policy initiative, then this is a great opportunity. Get on the ideas site and share your inspiration, and come along to one of the policy jam sessions – especially the one in Hull, which will be brilliant and almost certainly the best of the lot.