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The web holds the key to engaging the public in policy debates

'Think tanks' are a noisy irrelevance, while a signal opportunity to use the internet to engage people of all ages in the democratic process remains largely unexploited.

Suddenly think tanks and think tankers are everywhere. Sometimes it seems that every news item is driven by some new revelation from Tankland. This is not a coincidence.

Shrinking (or frozen) budgets in UK public service news and current affairs broadcasting have created a content vacuum which the tankers, gearing up for next year's general election, have been happy to fill.

Easy access to BBC airwaves plus the web delivered tide of open data (soon to be a tsunami and then a biblical flood) means that every man or woman can set up as a think tank. Many of them are doing just that, including Caroline Macfarland.

Macfarland was the Managing Director of ResPublica, the think tank credited with developing the Coalition government’s ‘big society’ agenda. In April this year she set up another think tank, CoVi, a contraction of Common Vision.

The full article on The Information Daily