Northern Futures


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It’s hard to blend online and offline methods effectively – the Cabinet Office-led ‘Northern Futures’ is a strong attempt, combining a crowdsourcing phase to gather ideas for building economic and civic strength in the north of England, with a series of workshops and a summit. It’s not immediately clear that this generated a huge amount of engagement (tough, given the big and slightly esoteric questions being asked) but as an approach it feels credible and interesting, and crucially linked the outcome of activity to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement to demonstrate that the discussions weren’t entirely separate from practical policymaking.

Northern Futures was introduced by the Deputy Prime Minister to facilitate a more open debate about decentralisation and economic growth in the North of England.

We hosted events across the North and received hundreds of ideas from universities, businesses, local authorities, young people and members of the public. We are now working with local partners to take forward some of the best ideas.

This site allows you to read the ideas shared and discussed online, check out the videos created by participants in our Open Ideas Days, watch the Northern Futures Summit we held in Leeds on November 6th and review the ideas that were pitched at it.

for more examples and tips