Ipsos MORI and Engage Britain convened a forum together on 2nd June 2020, in the middle of lockdown. Working online was at the forefront of our minds, and we wanted to find ways to take advantage of the disruptions of COVID-19 to innovate in our practice of online public engagement on the big policy challenges of our times.
At the session, we brought together experts in gaming, communications and entertainment, public engagement funders and practitioners, futurists and grass-roots digital democracy activists. The group discussed the question:
What is the best, innovative, use of existing technology and user experience (UX) insights to facilitate public conversations about our big policy challenges?
This report builds on the discussions we had, and suggests some different ideas which could be trialled, or stretched, or used more often and evaluated more thoroughly in the practice of online deliberation.
Sarah Castell, Head of Futures at Ipsos MORI, said:
There are many examples of innovation in online public engagement under way already; and more emerge every day. Our aim in convening the session was not to claim these ideas as our own, rather to build on what’s been done, keep building networks between practitioners, and doing our part to help innovation flourish.
Vaccine hesitancy among ethnic minority Britons
Concerns about new coronavirus variants and a possible exit wave are a reminder that there is still work to be done to defeat the pandemic. We consider how the uneven impact of the pandemic across different ethnic groups is mirrored by the uneven way they are emerging from it, and look at how important vaccine uptake is to preventing racial disparities from widening further.