Read about the Day One Workshops

Workshops were run as part of day one - you can read about them below.

Morning workshops

Young Scot
Young People and PB: A practical PB scenario using Young Scot’s e-voting platform

This workshop demonstrated how the Young Scot e-voting system works and how it can be utilised for participatory budgeting.

The web-based e-voting system is a tool that enables young people to participate in civic democracy and participatory budgeting. The system is used every two years for the Scottish Youth Parliament elections, enabling thousands of young people across Scotland to vote in elections. 

The workshop showed how the Young Scot rewards programme and Young Scot social media and digital platforms can add value to the e-voting system and increase youth engagement and participation.

Delivered by Mark McGeachie and & Alastair Ewen - / @YoungScot

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Coalfield Regeneration Trust
Coalfields Community Futures: An integrated and holistic approach to community capacity building and community empowerment

This workshop gave an insight into the Coalfields Community Futures programme and the specific participatory budgeting fund.

We learned about the process involved, from the community survey where issues are identified to the and Community Festival where local people can vote for what they wold like to be funded.

We also saw the progress this type of work has made, and see how over £800,000 has been award to 318 projects across 28 communities in just five years. 

Delivered by Pauline Douglas & Pauline Grandison - / @CoalfieldsRegen

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UK PB Partners
From margins to mainstream: developing a community led commissioning approach to public funding

In this workshop we explored how others have sought to develop a PB programme that works at scale and across a wide geographic area.

Programmes able to direct services that local people value, and that bring improvements to recipient’s quality of life and that can better target limited resources or reduce inequalities. We heard from a range of examples, based on many years of exploring how to mainstream PB.

Delivered by Jez Hall & Alan Budge - / @UKPBNetwork

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Afternoon workshops

The Democratic Society
Digital technology and PB: Interactive workshop

This workshop gave us the opportunity to get hands on experience with digital PB tools that will be tested across Scotland in the coming months.

Digital engagement tools provide the potential to increase the reach of PB projects and help support staff to deliver high quality PB processes including: idea generation; deliberation; prioritisation and voting. 

We heard lightning presentations from international technology providers, showcasing the digital tools they have developed for participatory budgeting. Attendees also had an opportunity to try out demos for each tool and discuss with technology providers how digital engagement could impact on their PB work.

Delivered by Ali Stoddart  - / @DemsocScotland

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Sabadell City Council
Building a common vision and agenda to improve participatory budgeting. The case of the Social Strategic Plan of Sabadell, Catalonia

In this workshop we explored the case of the social strategic plan of Sabadell, which aims to reduce the social consequences of the economic recession.

The workshop asked: 

How can we integrate evidence based policymaking and participatory budgeting in a strategic plan to reduce inequalities?

 We also discussed the key parts of the participatory model used to design the process, a model that can be used to other public processes.  

Delivered by Gabriel Fernàndez & Joan Cuevas. -

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The Democratic Society
International perspectives of PB

In this workshop we heard reflections from people with experience of using Digital Tools in participatory budgeting projects in Scotland and beyond. 

Scottish insights came from Edinburgh City Council, who recently trialed digital voting in their flagship £eith Decides project; and Fife Council, who have used digital tools for idea generation in their Oor Bit project.

International technology providers, César Silva (Change Tomorrow, Portugal) and Róbert Bjarnason (Citizens Foundation, Iceland), provided reflections on Scottish PB processes and learning from their experiences in their respective countries. This was followed by a facilitated conversation and Q&A.

Delivered by Kelly McBride - / @DemsocScotland

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Centre for Good Governance & Council of Hedensted
PB in Denmark: Has the welfare state undermined the need for citizen participation?

This workshop presented hands on experiences from introducing PB in Denmark. We explored how the Danish tradition for making associations, cooperatives and local democracy can be both a strength and a challenge when trying to spread the concept of PB. 

We had a detailed look at the successful practical experiences of engaging people in PB in the rural Council of Hedensted and match this to an overview of the general findings from introducing PB in Denmark.

What works, what does it foster and why? But are there challenges? PB is great and easy when people get the methodology and the idea. But what if they don’t?  Participants were invited to discuss their experiences of how to engage the people who think they need neither money nor engagement.

Delivered by Søren Noes & Susanne Ernst  - /

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Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions
Visual Budgets: A Swedish e-tool for PB

Attendees took part in this interactive workshop where they could create your own proposal for a park in our City, and vote for a winner.

'Visual Budget' is an e-tool created for Swedish municipalities and has been used across the country in the last few years. Visual budget makes it easier for citizens to learn about costs and visualize their ideas.

We learnrf about the administrative part of the tool and got hands-on with guidance from SALAR colleagues. SALAR represents the governmental, professional and employer-related interests of Sweden's 290 municipalities and 20 county councils/regions.

Delivered by Anders Nordh & Malin Svanberg -

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East, South and North Ayrshire Councils
Doing PB Our Way: Learning the lessons from 3 local authorities in Ayrshire

In this workshop we heard how 3 different local authorities shared a PB learning process and proceeded to implement PB in their own way.

Each of the authorities used a variety of methods to support communities and encourage groups to communicate their message to the voting audience, including poems, a visit from the Gruffalo, a take on the 2 Ronnie’s “Fork Handles” sketch, flying bunting and music from members of a brass band! 

We learned about the different processes in each area and what impact PB has had in their communities. 

Delivered by Paul Nelis & East/South/North Ayrshire Councils. 

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What Works Scotland
Facilitating dialogue and deliberation

This interactive workshop provided space to collectively reflect on the pleasures and pressures of facilitation practice and how dialogue and deliberation (two distinct, but complementary, approaches to communication) can help to facilitate PB processes. 

Participatory processes should provide space for meaningful and productive conversations. Often, this is easier said than done. Good facilitation can be the key to ensure high quality communication between participants, and good outcomes as a result of the process.

Delivered by Oliver Escobar - / @OliverEscobar

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Your name and email address must be the same as the ones you used to register your interest - if someone else is going in your place email us.