Thinking about using the social web to do democratic things…..

About me

This blog was started in 2008 as an action research diary to support my PHD and other research.   It still serves that purpose but has also become the place where I ‘think in public’ and try to capture the events, literature and conversations that influence my thinking. I have now (successfully!) completed my PHD and one of the things I am working on is sorting a proper page on here so that people can see the finished object.

This blog is also the place where I am trying to balance my dual roles of practitioner and researcher. I think of this as a hybrid existence which brings both aspects of what I do into each other and intermingles them in a positive way. I think practice is stronger for having a rigorous research approach behind it and research is strengthened by access to direct action and experience.

As the CEX of Public-i my interests in terms of practice and research are connected as in both roles I am truing to make sense of the impact of digital and networked technologies on society and specifically on government and democracy. This means I get to combine theory with practice as my day job and actually see how some of these research ideas work in practice. My contact details are on the Public-i site if you want to connect to ‘work me’. You can also find me on twitter as @curiousc

The balance between the work and research works for me – I enjoy being able to try out research ideas and I appreciate being able to apply an academic discipline and objectivity to the work we do with clients.

I am also a governor of the Democratic Society where we look at ways of getting more people involved in new forms of democratic debate – promoting active citizenship and political participation and I was one of the original organisers of CityCamp Brighton.  I am also a Governor at PACA – Portslade Aldridge Community Academy.

I also speak at conferences and run workshops – and will usually blog about this here though this blog is mainly a research diary as I try and capture learning and experiences along the way.  I imagine you will find some less philosophical commentary as well.

It should be noted that this is my personal blog and should not be taken as the views of Public-i.

One Response to “About me”

  1. Erdem says:

    Hi Catherine,

    I’ve been working on We-Decide – a platform with the purpose of helping large groups making smart and legitimate public policy decisions. It uses “information market” as the underlying tool to prioritize and evaluate all the ideas, and there is a delegation-voting engine that serves the purpose of ensuring high participation.

    This may have sound technical and irrelevant, but I believe that if we can prove that a platform can help a community govern their club or cooperative, soon enough people will be asking why not govern our town or country online, directly.

    There are a number of online democracy initiatives, and I’m hoping to start similar one in Turkey, and support others abroad by letting all use this tool.

    If you’re interested about what I am talking about, you can have a visit at – and if still interested, we can show a demo of what I mean. I hope to link to more people who are passionate about giving public back what belongs to them – control of their (gov’t) decisions and resources.

    kind regards,



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