This week, Network chair Beth Simone Noveck and the GovLab held a three-day conference in the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center in Italy to bring together diverse voices interested in advancing more participatory approaches to policymaking. The event, Crowdlaw: People-led Innovation in Urban Lawmaking, builds on longstanding research conducted at the GovLab regarding how involving people in drafting legislation and constitutions can increase lawmaking’s effectiveness and legitimacy.
Questions explored by participants during the three-day conference include:
- “What are the current challenges and problems with urban law and policymaking?
- Can new forms of participation enhance the legitimacy of lawmaking?
- Can new forms of participation enhance the quality of lawmaking and its effectiveness?
- What kinds of proposed law and policies can be improved through more participation?
- What stage(s) in the lawmaking are best suited to participation?
- How do we reconcile the tension between deliberation – ensuring that all voices are heard – and participation focused on enhancing expertise?
- What are the best incentives to encourage people to participate?
- How do political and legal institutions need to change to make use of public engagement?
- How does crowdlaw upend representative democracy? What is the impact on power?
- What are the risks and dangers of more open and participatory lawmaking?
- What are the barriers to adoption and implementation?
- How do we measure impact and outcomes? What constitutes success?”