From finance to healthcare, technology has transformed the way we live, work and play, with innovative solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges. Can it also have a role in how we make our laws?

Watch in full

Panel one

Panel two

Speakers

Emma Allen
Director of Digital Development, Parliamentary Digital Service and former Head of Web Development, The National Archives.

Victoria Boelman
Principal Researcher in Government Innovation, Nesta and former Head of Research,The Young Foundation.

Stella Creasy MP
Labour & Co-op MP for Walthamstow, Member of the Science and Technology Select Committee.

Dr Ruth Fox
Director and Head of Research, Hansard Society.

Elizabeth Linder
Founder and CEO of The Conversational Century and former Government and Politics Specialist, Facebook.

Liam Laurence Smyth
Clerk of Legislation, House of Commons and former Acting Director, Chamber Business, House of Commons.

Rebecca Rumbul
Head of Research, mySociety, and awarded best paper at the 2016 Conference for eDemocracy and Open Government.

Bill Thompson
Partnership Lead, Make it Digital, BBC and freelance journalist, commentator and technology critic.

Paul Walland
Innovation Director at IT Innovation Centre, University of Southampton.

About the event

The proposed refurbishment of the Palace of Westminster after 2020 presents a rare one in 150 year opportunity for reform of the principal institution of our democracy.

With MPs and Peers due to move out of the Palace into alternative locations in the Westminster area for a few years, could these temporary new Houses be turned into parliamentary laboratories to trial and test new digital technology to support the legislative and scrutiny process?

Recent innovations, for example in relation to data science and social media analysis, potentially offer new opportunities for Parliament to engage with the public, collect and analyse greater amounts of data and reach out to stakeholders beyond the ‘usual suspects’.

But such developments also pose new challenges, not least in relation to privacy and security, training, infrastructure and accessibility. This event will explore the problems in the legislative process – e.g. time, speed, resources, access to expert knowledge, scrutiny capacity – and how new technological developments might help solve them.

Bringing together experts from Parliament and the technology sectors we will explore how Westminster could utilise the rupture of being uprooted from the Palace to drive innovation in the legislative process.

Schedule

  • 2.00pm: Open
  • 2.30pm: Session 1 - Capacity, Scrutiny and Engagement: Challenges and Opportunities
  • 4.00pm: Break
  • 4.30pm: Session 2 - Parliament as an Innovation Lab: Restoration and Renewal… and Beyond
  • 6.00pm: Drinks reception

This event forms part of the Hansard Society’s work on Sense4Us, a multi-national technology research project funded by the European Union.