Evidence at the UK party political conferences

Can you spot me asking about the Olympic Legacy in the clip above? (About 38 minutes in I think!)

In September 2013 the political parties in the UK meet for their annual conferences. First the Liberal Democrats, then Labour, then Conservatives, with Greens and UKIP and Scottish and Welsh Nationalists, the end of summer means the start of a new year for politics. Some question the value of these events: in a modern connected world do we really need to get together in person? Aren’t they just uncritical rallies for the leadership?

Marina Hyde of The Guardian has described them as “a Powerpoint presentation in a parallel universe” which may be what they look like. I think they are more than that. I think they CAN be lots more.

The fringe at Conference is where there is serious discussion going on. In recent years there has been a noticeable shift away from rallies towards workshops. Meetings give way to discussions. Could the next step be using evidence to inform best practice, and build policy on the basis of values and research in equal measure?

If you know of examples where this happens in practice, please get in touch.

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