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Brainstorming consultation

In the morning of 7 Dec. 2004, we used the Zing electronic meeting software to brainstorm ideas on consultation. It was set up and demonstrated by Derek Johnston of the Centre for Competiveness. There were 3 keyboards plugged in to the same computer, so that we could rapidly type in lists of examples and ideas in response to a series of questions. At each keyboard were two people, who discussed the question before typing an answer.

Please look at the lists we generated, and add to them anything we missed. Also, if you think they should be grouped together in some way, try setting up some themes.

First we answered as ourselves:

  1. What is consultation?
  2. Describe how consultation is conducted.
  3. Make a list of the people who participate in consultation.

Then we role played different interest groups in two consultation scenarios:

  1. Responding to consultation documents on a road-widening scheme.
  2. A citizen's jury on how to care for the elderly.

This took us an hour, so we didn't have time to go on to the questions designed to help draw conclusions from this brainstorming. They were:

  1. Make a list of the improvements that could help make consultation more aligned with the needs of the participants.
  2. Make a list of weasel words or phrases used in talking about consultation, that mean different things to different people.
  3. What can we measure or observe?
  4. What research techniques are worth trying?
  5. Which theories might be useful?
  6. If you could do anything you like, what would YOU do to research (e-)consultation?