PlaceSpeak and Participatory Democracy
Colleen Hardwick, founder and CEO of PlaceSpeak discusses how public consultation is part of participatory democracy.
Public consultation as part of out over all participatory democracy is based on the persuasion of peers—not the coercion of peers and not the sneaking-behind-the-back of peers.
My hope with PlaceSpeak is that process of persuasion includes educating people, familiarizing them with the issues and then listening to them—genuinely engaging in conversation. This is what consultation is all about. PlaceSpeak will enable this. It will be meaningful, because the people are authenticated into the process; it is not anonymous. When people connect with proponents of different kinds of consultations in their area, it’s going to be genuine instead of being one step removed.
Most people don’t want to even go to a public meeting or have anything to do with civic processes per se; being able to bring discussion online—and make it easy for people to connect with consultations online—will have a profound impact on the way we make land-based [place-based] decisions and public policy development.