Since 2014, GovLab has designed, hosted and moderated a series of online conferences to support the burgeoning network of crowdlaw leaders and practitioners from around the world. Crowdlaw, or open, collaborative crowdsourced lawmaking, is a tech-enabled approach for drafting legislation or constitutions, that offers an alternative to the traditional method of policymaking, which typically occurs behind closed doors and with little input from the people it affects.
The goal of these peer-to-peer learning events are to deepen the collective understanding of what works, what doesn’t, how to assess impact, and accelerate the implementation of more effective and legitimate participatory lawmaking practices.
Crowdlaw is an emerging field of practice that is comprised of lawyers, platform developers, lawyers, government employees and research scientists, among others including citizen advocates. GovLab plays a convening role to engage practitioners from around the world and has initiated a dialogue in order to identify case studies and pilots, assess impact and inspire greater innovation across political, government and civil society actors.
GovLab has sponsored and organized three online conferences (open to all members of the public) with participants showcasing crowdlaw projects from around the world that include Austria, Chile, Brazil, Finland, Iceland, Italy, Libya, Mexico, Philippines, Mexico, Spain, and the U.S. The goal of each session varies, but ultimately we help advocates to gain a better understanding of what makes a successful and legitimate crowdlaw project, how common challenges may be anticipated and mitigated, and ideas for future discussions and collaborations around establishing meaningful best practices going forward.
The goal of the CrowdLaw Conferences is to bring together practitioners and researchers of this emerging policy making field to learn from one another of what works, what doesn’t, what are the best practices and the challenges in the institutionalization of CrowdLaw. From the insights and learnings that come from these conferences we will create a framework to better understand the state of the field of crowdsourcing policy. We also will create a report with the findings of the conferences, a list of selected readings on the topic and twitter lists of the experts of the field, to give people the tools to understand more about using crowdsourcing in the process of policymaking.