Open Working and Participation

Over the past few weeks at a team led co-ordinated(?)/fascilitated(?) by Simon Berry from ruralnet|UK and including a really diverse and interesting selection of innovators, thinkers and actors have been putting together an £1.2m Open Source bid to the Office of the Third Sector to run an 'Innovation Exchange' (i.e. the bid has been developed in a way that allows anyone to contribute and potentially feed into it's contents…)
I've made a few comments on the website, and reviewed and commented on version 4.2 of the bid document. And it's a real demonstration of the openess of Simon and the core team for the bid that my comments, and those of others, have been very clearly worked into the bid and the workplan it would lead to.
The experience of contributing to a collaborative document with the Open Innovation Exchange has got me thinking again about all the different policies, strategies and documents that organisations write about young people, without young people having the chance to be involved in them. Would an Open Innovation Exchange model work for the creation of these documents? What if every strategy a Children's Trust wrote was created in an online collaborative environment and young people had the chance to comment, edit and shape the document?
I'd like the updated Map and Plan sharing spaces [E.g. 1, 2, 3] on the Hear by Right website (coming soon…) to go someway towards 'open sourcing' the Hear by Right process, and allowing greater space for children and young people affected by a particular Hear by Right process to see and act on the 'documents' it generates – but I also think there are broader needs for us to explore open document creation across the world of youth participation.
Of course – there would be challenges fascilitating access to the technology and the context so that young people could meaningfully input – but providing open strategy creation didn't replace other methods of engagement – it would surely be no bad thing. Not least because if the organisations that are looking to engage young people turn to more open working across the board, then the journey to young people influencing decisions within them is, potentially, a lot more straightforward.