Thursday, 30 September 2010

Understanding and Influencing your Parliament conference

This Saturday (2 October) sees a big event in the Parliament with the second Understanding and Influencing your Parliament conference. The conference is targeted at local (i.e. community-based) voluntary and charity-sector organisations, civic groups and campaign organisations. Around 150 attendees from across Scotland are expected to attend the event aimed at developing effective skills to allow such groups to have their voice heard at Holyrood.
Petitions will play a central role in the conference. One of the main speakers in the Chamber on Saturday morning is Ron Beaty who has petition on improving school bus safety. Ron will talk about his campaign and how his work so far. He will also take part in the petition workshop in the afternoon along with petitioner/campaigner Douglas McKenzie . The workshop will be chaired by Rhona Brankin MSP, the PPC Convener (and I will be there!).
There will also be a social media workshop where participants can discuss and learn about different forms of social media (eg blogs) and how these can be used as a way of sharing information and promoting an issue. Taking part in that workshop is Bob Thomson who has a petition on availability of Low Dose Naltrexone and Peter Cruickshank from the International Teledemocracy Centre at Edinburgh Napier University. ITC were the folk wot developed the e-petition system (and of course the Scottish Parliament was the first legislature in the world to accept e-petitions back in 2000).
I am going to blog from the conference and get some photos on to the site which I hope you find helpful.
Fergus, Clerk to the PPC

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