Policy Beta will create a digital platform for citizens to network, generate ideas, debate issues, and vote on the policies that formulate principles for political action. In essence Policy Beta will provide a platform for crowdsourcing public policy.
As a policy crowdsourcing platform, Policy Beta addresses the participatory deficiency in modern democracies. As an open source platform Policy Beta can be adopted by anyone—businesses, political parties, or communities–seeking to crowdsource solutions to collective problems.
The proposed iteration of Policy Beta will be in the service of empowering citizens to engage with policy production for the UK Pirate Party. This first iteration of Policy Beta will assist the UK Pirate Party in developing direct democratic policies for their 2014 Manifesto.
Programmers and administrators will construct an easy to use platform open for citizen feedback, capable of including diverse voices, and able to facilitate deliberation. The content, however, will come from participants. Ideas will be crowdsourced, issues will be debated, and votes will be tallied for the UK Pirate Party’s 2014 Manifesto. The Manifesto will thus be collectively authored. After this process participants and non-participants will be surveyed for their feedback on the process and the platform.
With policies developed through bottom-up citizen dialogue as opposed to top-down professional political deliberation, political representatives can best know and implement citizen-driven initiatives. In this fashion, Policy Beta brings political representatives closer to the concerns of the citizenry while engaging citizens in policy production. This can only be good for the collective self-governance at the heart of functioning democracies.