New technology helps bridge political divide
New technology helps bridge political divide

Local MP Louise Haigh is bringing a radical new technological experiment straight from Seattle into the heart of Sheffield’s political debate – with the hope of repairing some of the city’s civic divides. a new digital platform that works in the opposite way to social media – by helping people work out what they have in common rather than divides them.

Whilst Twitter and Facebook’s algorithm rewards people who post attention-grabbing and inflammatory content for likes and retweets, asks people to give their views, then uses artificial intelligence to work out what they share in common with other people before finally helping everyone to share and refine their own viewpoints, with the goal of getting more people to agree with them.

This cutting-edge combination of civic consultation with artificial intelligence has been called ‘computational democracy’ – using technology to amplify agreement instead of arguments, helping to find actual solutions instead of being trapped in a shouting match. Instead of keeping people in bubbles and echo chambers, it brings attention to the opinions, views and perspectives that get the most buy-in from everyone – which allows action to be taken to achieve real change.

Looking at what the system achieved internationally – where it helped innovative economies such as Taiwan to break deadlocks of bitterly split opinion and pass widely supported legislation – the Sheffield Heeley MP will bring the lessons learnt on ‘Technology Island’ to the Steel City. Working with residents she will try and find practical ways to tackle climate change at a time when families and business are facing the crunch of the government’s cost of living crisis.

How can we tackle the environmental challenges that are endangering our children’s tomorrow whilst people are struggling today?

Building on last year’s Big Green Conversation, where Sheffield residents and businesses gave their views on what needed to be done both locally and nationally to tackle climate change, Louise Haigh will now work with even more local people to help develop solutions to the issues the Big Green Conversation identified.

These include:

  • More and better access to Public Transport, that is cleaner, greener and affordable – encouraging drivers out of their cars.
  • Work with businesses to challenge their waste and recycling practices and encourage more environmentally friendly methods.
  • Create community nature champions and more community gardens.
  • Encourage more schools and hospitals to provide vegetarian or vegan meals on their menus.

At a time when some favour radical action, others remain sceptical and different generations don’t see eye to eye on the environment, business or local priorities, Louise Haigh hopes to work with communities to break the deadlock and chart a shared path to a sustainable future.

We have a once in a generation opportunity to lead the way on tackling climate change and to introduce bold and forward-thinking green policies, we can’t afford to lose this opportunity.

I want as many people as possible, especially those who may not already be engaged in the climate debate, to share with me their thoughts and views on the priorities and issues. The good thing about this platform is that it takes the debate away from traditional social media which can often sow division and toxicity.

When I held my Big Green Conversation event last year – ahead of COP26, I heard from some very passionate and engaged people who are working hard to address the climate crisis. I also met with many young people who are equally engaged and are working hard to protect their futures.

I want as many people as possible to engage with this conversation. If we’re going to move forward to address the major issues of the day, then we need to build consensus. I’m asking people to please be as radical, off-the-wall or cautious as they like, we want this to be a space where everyone feels free to say what they think, and we can build a programme for change together.

So please have your say!

To take part in the conversation and share ideas visit:

Link to Instagram Link to Twitter Link to YouTube Link to Facebook Link to LinkedIn Link to Snapchat Close Fax Website Location Phone Email Calendar Building Search