Community x-change

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Community x-change is an informal label for a variety of participatory action research practices that promote alternative principles of participation (often called “public engagement”) from those that currently dominate. It contains elements of the citizens' jury and DIY citizens' jury techniques, but avoids legal language or symbolism.

The term was first coined by community development worker and Policy, Ethics and Life Sciences Research Centre (PEALS) academic Jasber Singh in 2006, to describe a shift from naive attempts at two-way engagement such as the 2005 UK Nanojury. The term symbolises attempts to share ownership of the participation process with the community members who became involved in it.

In East Anglia, a team led by PEALS and the British Science Association has established a community x-change with funding from a UK government scheme called Sciencewise. The same organisations are now establishing a similar process in Liverpool.

Young people in Cumbria and North East England have joined adults in forming a community x-change that is facilitated by PEALS and Right to be Heard (R2BH), and one region among ten across Europe that form part of the European Citizens Panel project.