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Newsletter, September 2006

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Project news

SD Panel

The Sustainable Development Commission (SDC) has just begun the first consultation with their SD Panel, which we recruited for them. The topic is ‘Redefining Progress’ and aims to look at economics, progress, government and wellbeing. The SDC hopes to pull together the comments from this first consultation and draw on them for three different reports; a summary report summarising the findings of the consultation; an SDC paper prepared as an SDC input into UK Government’s thinking and research on wellbeing and the development of the framework wellbeing indicator; and an SDC publication which will be a final report that will consider the challenges on ‘what the UK would look like if it was re-framed around a different model of progress’.

Surrey Waste Plan Submission Stage

Surrey County Council recently concluded its consultation period on the Submission Stage of their Waste Plan, which is due to be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate shortly. Dialogue by Design has collaborated with the Council on numerous consultations on the Waste Plan using a number of integrated systems to deal with large volumes of paper-based and online responses and it is satisfying to see a project like this right through from early issues and options consultations to the submission stage.

The submission stage has provided many challenges of its own. As those involved in similar processes would be aware, the challenge faced by local authorities to meet often quite stringent guidelines can be daunting. The inspector requires representations to be made against tests of soundness which even for planning professionals can be hard to follow. Our challenge is to make it possible for the public to submit representations in the way required by the inspector, but also in a way that is easy to follow for the lay person. Added to this we need to capture representations and pass them on to the inspector accurately and quickly.


Launched this month at the BA Festival of Science, sciencehorizons is a new project, funded by the DTI and run by a consortium of Dialogue by Design, Demos, Graphic Science, Shared Practice and BBC Worldwide Interactive Learning.

sciencehorizons aims to engage the public in dialogue about the implications of future science and technology. The project will collect views about the issues raised by some of the possible future directions for science and technology which have been identified by the DTI’s Horizon Scanning Centre, from a broad set of participants.

The programme is being implemented through three different strands all of which consider the same materials and questions, but at different depths.

Materials and content are being developed between September and December 2006. These will be used in a series of events including deliberative panel, events in science centres and self-managed community discussion groups. The events will roll out between January and June 2007 and the report will be published at the BA Festival of Science in 2007.

For more information and to register your interest in the project please visit www.sciencehorizons.org.uk.

Institution of Chemical Engineers - A Roadmap for 21st Century Chemical Engineering

The Institution of Chemical Engineers has an important role in setting policy throughout the world on the uses of chemical engineering. We are running an internal consultation with IChemE members to decide various policy positions that the Institution should take in important areas including Sustainability, Energy, Water and Biosystems Engineering. This fascinating consultation touches inevitably on many important and controversial areas and is likely to influence our lives in many ways over the next ten years and beyond. (We do not provide a link to the consultation website as the consultation is for IChemE members only.)


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