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Joe Kay FRSA outlines how Enswarm is working with Reading Council, Police Force and Neighborhood Forums to engage the wider community with solving issues in local areas.

Providing Councils with the technology that enables them to include the wider community in important decision making has the opportunity to positively impact communities around the UK.

With cuts in funding affecting local authorities, it is vital to connect communities with Councils and Police Forces so everyone can understand and be involved in the development of initiatives to solve local issues.

Traditionally, Reading Council has worked to include communities in decision making through in person meetings which are chaired by community representatives.

The problem is that in-person community meetings are not well attended by a broad spectrum of the people they represent, and decision-making processes between the Forums, Council and Police are slow. Volunteers who liaise with the Police, Council and Community are caught in the middle, frustrated by the lack of action.

By using Enswarm’s technology platform, the aspiration is that Reading Council would be able to include the wider community in tackling social issues, to increase understanding amongst all parties, and to speed up decision making.

Through its interface, Enswarm enables people to work together to solve problems by inviting them to have their say remotely. Through initially hiding the names of participants, people are able to tell the truth without fear of judgement or reprisal.

The Council, therefore, will be able to gain public opinion and tackle problems inclusively.

Reading Council, the Police Force and Neighborhood Forums have the aspiration to use Enswarm as a long term digital solution for community co-creation and inclusive decision making. They have started to use the technology but additional expertise in facilitation would greatly increase the likelihood of success.

While Enswarm has the technology to connect people to think together, we are a startup that lacks the resources needed to drive this important use case. The Forums need help to move beyond the status quo of traditional methods of community engagement.

We are therefore looking for Fellows who would be willing to volunteer to remotely facilitate initial sessions, in order to guide the discussion and uncover vital solutions to community problems.

Please email joe.kay@enswarm.com for further information or visit the https://enswarm.com/  website to find out more about our technology.

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