News

Four members of Swansea's A4D planning group travelled on Saturday 19th March to Cardiff's Senedd – the home of the National Assembly for Wales. They'd been invited to take part in a special day of events celebrating the end of the first phase of the National Theatre of Wales' 3-year long Big Democracy Project.

In a programme including performances by theatre groups, poets and musicians, A4D's invitation to a half-hour slot attracted around 60 people: ‘Democracy, if ever alive is now 'more dead' than living; its semblance just a sham. The little life left in it is being stealthily stifled by the greed and manipulative grip of the corporations controlling people's freedom and gravely endangering this planet. So join us in designing, building and operating a richer, deeper form of direct democracy.


This half-hour introductory session shares a snapshot of what has already begun. We'll be using all the means available to explore a fairer future based on people powered free expression and collaborative actions for sustainable living.’

Helen Johns, from the teachers union NASUWT, gave a passionate account of the battle with Swansea Council to prevent the termination, without any consultation of parents and children, of an Education Service in Trehafod clinic, for some of Swansea's most vulnerable children - Child and Adolescent Mental Health pupils, that led her to A4D after she realised that local democracy is broken.

A4D convenor Gerry Gold widened the focus from the local to the national and global explaining that we were re-imagining democracy in response to the rapid growth of inequality, showing how the system of corporations had merged with parliamentary democracy transferring wealth from the 99% to the 1%.

With the majority of the audience waving mobile phones in the air, Peter Anderson invited them to sign-on there and then to the Wales country group on digital democracy platform Vocaleyes and respond to the question 'How can we bring democracy to life in Wales? First up was a seven year-old, showing everyone the way, with a proposal for a free Legoland in Cardiff!!

A4D's performance evoked a lively participation – vocally, digitally and on paper, with the local Women's Equality Party candidate Ruth Williams sharing a photo-opportunity on facebook and twitter.

posted on 23 Mar 2016

Four members of Swansea's A4D planning group travelled on Saturday 19th March to Cardiff's Senedd – the home of the National Assembly for Wales. They'd been invited to take part in a special day of events celebrating the end of the first phase of the National Theatre of Wales' 3-year long Big Democracy Project.

In a programme including performances by theatre groups, poets and musicians, A4D's invitation to a half-hour slot attracted around 60 people: ‘Democracy, if ever alive is now 'more dead' than living; its semblance just a sham. The little life left in it is being stealthily stifled by the greed and manipulative grip of the corporations controlling people's freedom and gravely endangering this planet. So join us in designing, building and operating a richer, deeper form of direct democracy.


This half-hour introductory session shares a snapshot of what has already begun. We'll be using all the means available to explore a fairer future based on people powered free expression and collaborative actions for sustainable living.’

Helen Johns, from the teachers union NASUWT, gave a passionate account of the battle with Swansea Council to prevent the termination, without any consultation of parents and children, of an Education Service in Trehafod clinic, for some of Swansea's most vulnerable children - Child and Adolescent Mental Health pupils, that led her to A4D after she realised that local democracy is broken.

A4D convenor Gerry Gold widened the focus from the local to the national and global explaining that we were re-imagining democracy in response to the rapid growth of inequality, showing how the system of corporations had merged with parliamentary democracy transferring wealth from the 99% to the 1%.

With the majority of the audience waving mobile phones in the air, Peter Anderson invited them to sign-on there and then to the Wales country group on digital democracy platform Vocaleyes and respond to the question 'How can we bring democracy to life in Wales? First up was a seven year-old, showing everyone the way, with a proposal for a free Legoland in Cardiff!!

A4D's performance evoked a lively participation – vocally, digitally and on paper, with the local Women's Equality Party candidate Ruth Williams sharing a photo-opportunity on facebook and twitter.


posted on 23 Mar 2016

International students studying at Cardiff University utilised VocalEyes as part of their course recently using VE to agree ideas to improve the Urban Design course. They also posted ideas for improving community engagement.

Within an hour, all the students had used their mobile phones, tablets and laptops with their ideas appearing on the wall via the projector. Over 30 ideas were suggested, debated and rated in this short session designed to trial the use of VocalEyes in the classroom.


posted on 23 Mar 2016

successful campaign recieved positive press coverage

posted on 17 Mar 2016

VocalEyes was successfully launched at the Coastal Housing Tenant Fun Day where a luck winner was handed a new tablet device (to beer use VocalEyes) and about 50 tenants signed up and used the system for the first time. 

posted on 10 Mar 2016

Thank you for all your feedback recently. We've made good progress with mobile development in this Milestone as well as some nice user interface updates. Here is a summary;

For users:
- Simplified the Add New button
- Layout changes to make things simple, and a little more visual
- Mobile site also got a little lighter
- Tour Mode added, if you still didn't find your way
- Pie Chart graphs to show the average rating, the voting profile of an idea and the number of users engaged.

For admins
- All groups have a default logo and header image, make sure you upload one that's more personal to your group
- Modules can be turned off / on, so they aren't in the way if not used; we programatically removed modules your group doesn't use, but you can easily reactivate them in Group Admin

...and many bug fixes!

posted on 8 Mar 2016

In response to your reports of people smoking outside of the smoking area, additional signs will be displayed around campus asking that smoking be limited to the designated smoking area only.

Thank you for your feedback.

posted on 25 Feb 2016

This is what the 40 National Indicators look like as a whole.

Each goal has a colour. So, for example the more prosperous Wales is yellow.

Each indicator is colour coded according to the goals it is mainly illustrating. So, for example, the first indicator – ‘babies born at a healthy weight’ – is an indicator of a healthier Wales – the red – and a more equal Wales – the dark red.

What this slide also shows is how the 40 indicators work as a set. You can see the spread of colours working across the chart to reflect indications of all seven goals.

There are four main questions:

•Do the proposed indicators work as a set?
•Are there any that could be improved?
•Are there any that should be included or excluded?
•How can we communicate these to the people and communities of Wales?

In other words, are these the right measures of the Wales We Want?

posted on 9 Feb 2016

These are the 7 Welsh 'wellbeing' goals as identified by the 'Wales We Want' Future Generations Bill.

posted on 9 Feb 2016

As part of our project working with parent ambassadors (ie those experienced with raising a child with a disability) in collaboration with a law expert Cerebra as produced new resources exploring some of the 'myths' that have arisen due to many people working for public bodies and many parent/carers of disabled children misunderstanding the law. Our toolkit will help to dispel these myths that have developed over time by coming up with solutions in dealing with statutory bodies. Follow the link for info: 
http://w3.cerebra.org.uk/research/problem-solving-toolkit-for-families/



posted on 9 Feb 2016

We've been crunching the numbers this week and are thrilled to see how well VocalEyes is working - give yourselves a big pat on the back!

In just a short amount of time, there have been:
  • 40 ideas,
  • 4382 ratings, and
  • 570 comments or replies!
It's been a great start, but you need to keep adding suggestions - and rating the ones that are there - in order to turn your ideas into actions. Remember, the College considers every single idea that is posted. So...what's yours?

Updates





posted on 5 Feb 2016

Martin has set up 5 Topics   representing the 5 themes in the action plan.Each priority for action  is listed under each topic. Have alook and see how easy it is to navigate and interact with. Martin suggests that to get the best from this tool, we can generate a dialogue by clicking on the ideas tab.
Enjoy having a go! Enid

posted on 4 Feb 2016

We’ve had a great start to 2016 with two key ideas being put into action already:

Yoga Sessions

The request for lunchtime yoga classes has proved one of the most talked about ideas on VocalEyes with 21 comments.

Having kicked off with a week of free Yoga Yurt classes across three college centres, we’ve now got sessions running for the next six weeks.

The closed sessions will be held on Tuesdays at College Green (2pm-4pm) and SBSA (3pm-4pm) and Thursdays at Ashley Down (2.45pm-3.45pm). And depending on feedback from the trial week, we may be providing more sessions.

Mental Health drop-in sessions

Following a proposal in early January for a “student-run and confidential” mental health group, our Welfare team sprang into action.

The first session was held in the Learning Resource Centre on Thursday 28 January. Students could sign up to lead and participate in the group, as well as accessing resources and information on local services.

If you missed the opening session, you can contact the Welfare team privately and confidentially so that you can receive information on future sessions:  01173122098 / welfare@cityofbristol.ac.uk

What's next?

It's up to you! Keep commenting and rating ideas as they appear - remember, every idea on VocalEyes is considered by the college. It's your chance to have your say and make a difference.

posted on 28 Jan 2016

We’ve had a great start to 2016 with two key ideas being put into action already:

Yoga Sessions

The request for lunchtime yoga classes has proved one of the most talked about ideas on vocalEyes with 21 comments.

Having kicked off with a week of free Yoga Yurt classes across three college centres, we’ve now got sessions running for the next six weeks.

The closed sessions will be held on Tuesdays at College Green (2pm-4pm) and SBSA (3pm-4pm) and Thursdays at Ashley Down (2.45pm-3.45pm). And depending on feedback from the trial week, we may be providing more sessions.

Mental Health drop-in sessions

Following a proposal in early January for a “student-run and confidential” mental health group, our Welfare team sprang into action.

The first session was held in the Learning Resource Centre on Thursday 28 January. Students could sign up to lead and participate in the group, as well as access resources and information on local services.

If you missed the opening session, you can contact the Welfare team privately and confidentially so that you can receive information on future sessions:  01173122098 / welfare@cityofbristol.ac.uk

What's next?

It's up to you! Keep commenting and rating ideas as they appear - remember, every idea on VocalEyes is considered by the college. It's your chance to have your say and make a difference

posted on 28 Jan 2016

At Cerebra we believe in listening to families of disabled children and using what they tell us to inspire research, innovation and information.  One area that parents have told us that they struggle with is dealing with statutory agencies in relation to the provision of health, social care and education support services.

As a response to this Cerebra funds research by Professor Luke Clements to explore practical and effective ways of resolving the commonly occurring problems families face. As a result we have developed a number of resources, based on cases raised with us by parents and carers within our Legal Entitlements Research Project and the job now is get that information out there for parents and carers to use to improve their family life.

Funding was awarded by the Economic and Social Research Council to launch a new project, The Family Research Ambassador Project, which will involve parents and carers of disabled children in helping us to make our pool of existing information much more accessible and engaging to others.

The project’s main aims are:

•to produce a ‘Problem Solving Toolkit’ that deals with these commonly occurring problems in accessing services

•to test, improve and build on the toolkit

•distribute this as widely as possible within various disability support groups and to parents of disabled children

•to give parents and carers the confidence to tackle decisions and to feel supported.

We have recruited eight Family Research Ambassadors (FRAs) to assist in bringing this toolkit together and to circulate and promote this to disability support groups and social media.

More to follow…….

posted on 27 Jan 2016

Attended by a fantastic group of visionaries with a global reach the first Digital Citizenship summit was hosted by Bournemouth University today and featured VocalEyes among many start-ups, ed techs and learner platforms. 

posted on 23 Jan 2016

The Labour party is committed to widening and improving democracy both internally and in the wider political system. Soon after his appointment as shadow chancellor John McDonnell said "We're going to democratise this country on a scale we've never seen before".  (Channel 4 news http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGDla6aSwng from 14 minutes). Jeremy Corbyn also reiterated this later, “we want to see a mushrooming of online democracy and citizen’s assemblies” (http://bit.ly/1SOaRHs

In this spirit the local party in Evelyn ward has decided, "To immediately encourage everyone to create extensive systems for direct participation...that are autonomous, grassroots and non-party political" and "To require elected members ... to attend constantly and visibly to these discussions and opinions, and act accordingly".

Following on from this they have also decided to create an open process for selecting councillor candidates that includes public events and online discussion (i think this is particularly important in Deptford because historically the Labour candidates have always been the ones eventually elected to the council).  Any member who has lived in the ward since the start of 2016 can be a candidate (so you can join and be one yourself), and the process will end a year before the elections (which are on May 3rd 2018) . However, they decided to open up discussion on the exact details of how this would work, especially the way the final choice is made. 

A vocaleyes topic has been created where you can add your ideas and rate / comment on other ideas at http://vocaleyes.org/vocaleyes/topic/view/id/11144/grp/885 and everyone is welcome to join the discussion - please forward through your networks and also speak to your friends, neighbours, work mates etc (you can also add their thoughts yourself if they can't access the internet)







posted on 22 Jan 2016

If you've got a suggestion for how we can improve the college, now's your chance! 

VocalEyes is a place where you can share ideas and rate them. All ideas are considered by the college, and we'll take action and create projects to make the improvements that you want to see.

All students have been pre-registered - just log in to Moodle and look out for the VocalEyes widget on the right-hand side.

posted on 21 Jan 2016

Direct real DIY Democracy is coming to Deptford
But we need YOU !
We need your ideas but also your help to get others involved by doing some really small and easy stuff, just in your street, block or online
This site is a great tool to help us share ideas, develop plans and work together to make them happen, We’re also building a network of people who will be talking directly to everyone, and you’ll also be able call/text us about whats happening and what you think. Then we’ll tell everyone else in newsletters and noticeboards that you'll be able to come and help design, we'll also arrange social events where people can eat, drink and talk. This can all be gathered and developed here, but the real stuff happens when people talk face to face.

Interestingly, the new leadership of one of the 2 main political parties say they want us to do this - decide what we want and that they'll actually listen! The local councillors have already been committed to listen constantly to these discussions and opinions, and act accordingly (We’re working on getting our Mayor and MP to do the same). And there are also too many other organisations to mention already doing great stuff locally that we'll get connected and involved with.

We don't have to wait for anything, we can do things ourselves RIGHT NOW. 

BUT, we need people to speak the people in their block / road, on the street, in the shops, cafes and community centres, deliver newsletters / leaflets, or just post links on their twitter & facebook as well as contributing on VocalEyes (for some things you’ll need to set up an account, which is very easy ) - could you do any of that?


or short link http://bit.ly/1ThFZ1u
Phone or text james on 07905 685 906
James@dogmanet.org



posted on 21 Jan 2016

Thank you for all your feedback on VocalEyes. There is a development pipeline as long as the river Nile but never-the-less, we're making our way through it one step at a time. Please keep your ideas coming.

- Blog is now the News!
- Design / usability amendments to the mobile version
- Notifications ON/OFF switch has been added to My Groups (on Dashboard)
- More context added to the email content notifications
- Group and Idea description character limit increased to 4096
- SSO (Single Sign On) users can now add their email address (will also get notified about it), and change their username and password
- Resources types now have "Other" in the list, and other improvements
- Login session length increased to 2 years

...and many many bug fixes and slight GUI improvements

posted on 20 Jan 2016