Exploring the ‘fracking polemic’ through democratic Convergence – Craig Thomas, University of Manchester

Assemblies For Democracy invite people to an event run in association with Craig Thomas from the CURE research centre at the University of Manchester. The event will be based around a new role-play game built from Craig Thomas’s research on conflict around proposed fracking in Greater Manchester. The focus of the game is on stakeholders that came together around opposition to an exploratory well drilled into the shale bed in Barton Moss, Salford.

In the game, players role-play stakeholders and seek to find common ground in relation to concerns about fracking and the exploratory well. The game facilitates investigation of consensus and democracy in the context of a real world issue and with consideration of public interest. It’s an exercise in grass roots democracy and is a chance to see the events from a different perspective. It’s also quite a fun game!

The event is funded by the ESRC, the UK’s largest organisation for funding research on economic and social issues. It is part of the ESRC Social Science Festival, a national festival that promotes social science research in the UK. We have helped to develop this event to offer an opportunity to engage with professional research in a format that makes connections between academic research, democratic engagement and investigating ways of engaging with and informing the public. Using a game to facilitate these processes is an exciting and novel approach to realising our aims of developing democracy into new areas of engagement. We originally approached CURE to ask them to contribute to our discussions, in particular on local energy case studies. Running a game will be an exciting way to explore key issues on fracking that relate to energy and democracy.

The session will be held on Friday 13th November and will run from 1:00 until 5:00 at the Friends Meeting House in Manchester. There will be refreshments and snacks provided. The gaming process is iterative and so any feedback from the players will be taken on board and used to develop the game further as a facilitating tool. More information on the event is available here:

ESRC Festival of Social Science – Beyond the ‘fracking’ polemic: ‘energy landscape’ game event details.

Although there is no charge to attend the event, there are limited tickets. If you would like to attend the event, please sign up here:

Eventbrite Booking

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