Over the last few months I have had the great pleasure of liaising with an outstanding journalist who works for the BBC World Service. The journalist works on the People Fixing the World series. Exciting news: the program is coming to Harrogate this weekend to interview me about my work with the political tech tool – Polis.
In particular, the BBC is interested in this Polis conversation which I have been running on The Harrogate District Consensus website about whether Rotary Wood (planted by children twenty years ago) should be bulldozed in order to expand the Harrogate Spring Water plant. In return, the plant – now owned by Danone PLC – pledge to plant far more trees than they destroy. They say that at least 30 jobs will be created.
This Polis conversation has attracted over 14,000 votes from 467 people. Not bad. It is too early to say whether there is consensus. I do wonder whether the consensus will be that the people of Harrogate will consent to the demolition if the company plants 100 trees for each one removed.
So far, on the platform we have facilitated over 100,000 votes on circa 25 questions. In addition – and quite innovatively (if I may say so myself) – we profiled every candidate in May’s local elections, asking the candidates their positions on one of our conversations about a possible default 20mph in Harrogate. This is our attempt to connect people to power.
We have only closed two conversations – one on The Station Gateway and the other about a possible default 20mph zone in Harrogate – releasing the data to the world. The remaining conversations are still open – so still time to vote, folks! Or you can even suggest a conversation for us to run.
The BBC have asked me to promote the below. If readers of this blog have adapted their positions because of Polis technology, can you get in touch with them?
“Hello, People Fixing the World, which broadcasts on BBC World Service radio is exploring the use of the Polis platform and how it can be used to find voices and opinions on all sides of a debate, eventually throwing up areas of common understanding. If you’ve found Polis useful for seeing different opinions in any debate and/or made changes to your starting point to come to a form of consensus, please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 07879 626887 as soon as possible. Ideally, we’d like to hear from you by Friday 1st July.”